Ghana Grid Company Ltd. (GRIDCo)

Engendering Utilities Partner Profile

GRIDCo is Ghana’s transmission company and system operator, and currently has over 900 employees, of which 13 percent are women. USAID is proud to work with GRIDCo in their commitment to improve gender equality in the energy sector as part of their path to long-term success.

After Ghana achieved independence in 1957, electricity was prioritized as a state-run endeavor to support the country’s massive industrialization goals. By 1994, power sector reforms opened the market for competition and began to regulate power generation, transmission, and distribution. To attract independent power producers, a competitive wholesale electricity market was established in 2008. Today, Ghana’s electricity access rate is around 83 percent, one of the highest in sub-Saharan Africa.

The International Labour Organization reports that 64 percent of Ghanaian women participate in the labor market. However, the number of women pursuing careers in engineering or energy has not increased significantly, and engineering is still perceived as a “man’s job.” This gender imbalance in university classes limits the availability of qualified women pursuing technical positions.

USAID is partnering with GRIDCo through the Engendering Utilities program to assess and identify high-impact interventions that can improve gender equality within the organization. Through Engendering Utilities, USAID is providing tailored coaching to GRIDCo staff on gender equity and business best practices. Select utility personnel will participate in a 12-month Gender Equity Executive Leadership Program in collaboration with Georgetown University.

A dedicated change management coach provided by the Engendering Utilities program is working with GRIDCo to identify opportunities to address what the utility sees as their main challenge: the talent pipeline. GRIDCo also wants to prioritize increasing the number of women in technical staff, where there is the greatest gender disparity. Through this coaching, the utility will develop a tailored action plan to best fit their needs. GRIDCo will also place a strong emphasis on engaging influential male leaders as champions of gender equality.

Prior to engaging with Engendering Utilities, GRIDCo took initiative to improve gender equality, most notably by drafting a company Sexual Harassment Policy. GRIDCo is also committed to Ghana’s National Policy on Gender Equity and seeks to align itself with this policy, specifically in relation to the affirmative action goal of 40 percent female representation at all levels of government.

USAID’s Engendering Utilities program works with electricity and water utilities in developing countries to increase economic opportunities for women, improve gender equality, boost business performance, and strengthen the energy and water sectors. Through a customized best practices framework, demand-driven coaching, and a Gender Equity Executive Leadership Program, Engendering Utilities builds the capacity of utility leaders to implement gender equality interventions that increase the professional participation of women and meet their core business goals.

Launched in 2015, the Engendering Utilities program demonstrates USAID’s commitment to promote a path to self-reliance and resilience in developing countries by fostering enterprise-driven innovation, inclusive economic growth, and gender equality and women’s economic empowerment. Engendering Utilities is a key activity under the U.S. Government’s Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative (W-GDP), which aims to reach 50 million women by 2025 through innovative and effective programs.

Date 
Thursday, June 27, 2019 - 11:15am

Last updated: March 26, 2020