Partnering with Indian Utilities to Deliver Gender Equality

USAID has partnered with BSES Rajdhani and Tata Power Delhi Distribution Limited to strengthen women’s participation in India’s energy sector.

In April 2019, through its Engendering Utilities program, USAID partnered with BSES Rajdhani Power Limited (BRPL) and Tata Power Delhi Distribution Limited (Tata Power-DDL) to design workplace initiatives that will expand job opportunities for women in India’s energy sector, while advancing the business goals of each company. USAID’s Engendering Utilities Change Management Coach works with three Gender Equality Executive Leadership Program (GEELP) participants from each utility. Since the establishment of the partnership in 2019, USAID has provided 18 coaching sessions for BRPL, and 13 sessions for Tata Power-DDL.

Coaching Plans

USAID is supporting BRPL and Tata Power-DDL to strategically identify realistic internal and external gender equality targets, and to select best practice-based interventions that can be introduced at each stage of the employee life cycle, in line with USAID’s Engendering Utilities Best Practices Framework. USAID is also supporting BRPL to introduce a diversity committee and improve gender equitable branding for Tata Power-DDL.

BRPL Activities and Results

In the past year, BRPL increased recruitment, promotion, mentorship and training of women through the following activities:

  • Trained female employees to become the next generation of leaders through an in-house organizational development intervention called IMPACT. Following the training, a female participant was promoted to Business Division Head. 
  • Formalized mentorship and learning opportunities that will increase the skills women need to move into technical and operational roles.
  • Improved policies and employee benefits to achieve gender equality, including paid paternity leave, offsite childcare, and a work-from-home policy to ensure all employees can safely continue working during COVID-19.
  • Drafted a proposal for a Diversity Steering Committee and Diversity Working Group comprised of senior leadership to oversee and endorse gender equality and diversity activities.
  • Launched gender equality awareness sessions for utility staff, as well as a new campaign and brand, WE-Workplace Equality, which will be used to promote the company’s gender equality initiatives. The CEO endorsed the brand on International Women’s Day, raising the profile of BRPL gender equality initiatives and reaffirming corporate commitment to gender equality.
  • A female BRPL employee participated as a panelist at the India Smart Grid Week, adding to the positive branding of BRPL as the employer of choice for women.

Tata Power-DDL Activities and Results

In 2019, Tata Power-DDL was recognized as one of India’s Best Companies to Work For (#4) and was in the top 75 of India’s Best Workplaces for Women.

In the past year, Tata Power-DDL introduced strategic initiatives to increase gender equality at various phases of the employee life cycle, including:

  • Created the Women in Leadership League (WILL), a women’s program that promotes leadership and professional growth. Women of WILL were featured as role models on YouTube.
  • Initiated conversations between female employees and the CEO to discuss ideas and provide feedback to senior leaders.
  • Reintroduced a women’s mentoring program through which 160 women are mentored by senior leaders of the company.
  • Held an event at the Indira Gandhi Delhi Technical University for Women to recruit female talent and inspire female students to pursue energy-related jobs. Launched an online training on unconscious bias and sexual harassment prevention and developed and released an Equal Employer Opportunity Policy.

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 
Monday, June 8, 2020 - 4:15am

Last updated: June 08, 2020