Increasing Women’s Participation in the Power Sector through Human Resources Interventions

A Best Practices Framework

This framework provides utilities with global best practices and practical resources to identify gaps, define objectives and establish a road map for sustained progress in integrating gender equity throughout their operations and corporate structures.

Women represent half of the world’s employment potential; effectively developing this talent is a key part of ensuring organizational competitiveness in the future. In addition, a growing body of evidence demonstrates a correlation between diversity at the executive level with a company’s performance. A recent study by McKinsey analyzed more than 1,000 companies in 12 countries and concluded that gender-diverse companies are more likely to outperform their national industry average in terms of profitability.

Despite the evidence demonstrating women’s value in the workforce, women continue to encounter structural barriers to participating in the world economy, particularly in industries traditionally dominated by men. Globally, the labor force participation rate for women is 26.7 percent lower than the rate for men. On average, women work fewer hours for pay or profit either because they opt to work part-time or because part-time work is the only option available to them. In some countries, gender gaps in hourly wage rates for similar work can reach 40 percent.

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is committed to both promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment and strengthening the energy sector in order to fuel economic growth and social development. Through its Engendering Utilities program, and in line with global best practices, USAID identified the human resources (HR) employee life cycle as a key entry point to effecting long-lasting and impactful change within partner utilities. From hiring and recruitment, to retirement and succession planning, HR interventions represent significant opportunities to promote gender equity within utilities. To serve as a guide for increasing gender equity throughout the HR life cycle, USAID developed this Best Practices Framework.

The framework is divided into seven HR categories of the HR life cycle:

  1. Attracting and Hiring
  2. Compliance and Reporting
  3. Payroll and Administration
  4. Employee Development
  5. Financial Benefits
  6. Risk Management
  7. Separation and Retirement

A special section focusing on key HR policies has also been incorporated into the framework.

About Engendering Utilities

USAID’s Engendering Utilities program seeks to strengthen the energy sector by increasing the professional participation of women.

Launched in 2015, the Engendering Utilities program represents 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. The program strengthens energy sector operations by identifying and implementing gender equity best practices while helping utilities meet their core business goals.

Sunday, September 9, 2018 - 10:00pm

Last updated: September 09, 2018