Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC)

Engendering Utilities Partner Profile

LEC was established in 1973 to produce and supply electricity to the nation. LEC currently serves nearly 50,000 customers and employs around 850 staff, of which 17 percent are women. USAID is proud to work with LEC in their commitment to improve gender equality in the energy sector as part of their path to long-term success.

After Liberia has been focused on rebuilding the electricity infrastructure that was destroyed during civil conflict and by post-war looting. While around 20 percent of the country now has electricity access, Liberia still has one of the lowest access rates in the world.

According to Liberia’s Gender Minister, energy is one of the least gender-diverse sectors in the country, which is especially noteworthy considering that women have otherwise achieved parity in Liberia’s workforce, at 50.6 percent according to a Pew Research Center analysis of International Labour Organization (ILO) data. The ILO also reports that 72.2 percent of Liberian women participate in the labor market, more than the global average. However, women are more likely than men to be employed in the informal sector.

USAID is partnering with LEC through the Engendering Utilities program to assess and identify high-impact interventions that can improve gender equality within the organization. LEC will also place a strong emphasis on engaging influential male leaders as champions of gender equality.

Prior to engaging with Engendering Utilities, LEC initiated gender equality improvements with support from Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) Liberia, most notably through the development and adoption of a Gender and Social Inclusion (GSI) Policy and Sexual Harassment Policy. The overall objective of the GSI Policy is to identify and mitigate issues of gender disparity throughout the company, including a goal to reach 40/60 gender parity.

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 - 1:30am

Last updated: March 26, 2020