Change Management Coaching for Gender Equality

Speeches Shim

This guide helps change management coaches support organizations to adapt, create, and implement gender equitable policies and practices at each phase of the employee life cycle.

Women represent half of the world’s employment potential; effectively developing this talent will increase an organization's competitive advantage. A growing body of evidence demonstrates a correlation between gender diversity at the executive level and company 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.

Change Management Coaching for Organizational Gender Equity

Increasing gender equality and women’s empowerment in male-dominated industries requires commitment, a tailored strategy, and the support of an experienced change management coach.

Through the Engendering Industries program, USAID created a practical coaching guide to be used by individuals or firms who are supporting organizations to increase gender equality in the workplace. The guide helps coaches work with organizations to review and identify opportunities in the eight phases of the employee life cycle (ELC) and the four organizational enablers of gender equality. The guide also provides a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis template and sample documents, such as a scope of work for a change management coach, letter of collaboration, and coaching plan.

This guide should be used alongside Delivering Gender Equality: A Best Practices Framework for Male-Dominated Industries, a USAID resource that helps organizations establish a roadmap for sustained progress in integrating gender equity throughout operations and corporate structures. The Best Practices Framework, which outlines over 130 actions known to increase gender equality in the workplace, guides the evidence-based implementation of strategic activities at each phase of the ELC.

The Coach’s Role

The change management coach supports an organization to adapt, create, and implement gender-equitable policies and practices at each phase of the employee life cycle. The coach also strengthens the capacity of the organization’s personnel to think strategically about how gender equality could improve business performance, examine corporate culture through a gender lens, and propose initiatives that will foster gender equality and create a workplace environment that supports inclusion.

The coaching relationship is most effective when one dedicated expert works with a small group of employees and/or managers who are in a position to persuade, influence, or motivate broad change at an organization. Over the course of the relationship, the coach supports these employees to analyze gender equality gaps, design and implement interventions that are tailored to the organization’s specific needs, and monitor

Phases of Coaching

Coaches should strive to meet organizations where they are on their journey to gender equality, and coaching should be demand driven. Coaching sessions can vary in length of time and intensity depending on the needs of the partner. The coaching process can be broken down into four phases.


Select an organization and individuals to coach, build a trusting relationship, and introduce key concepts. Perform a SWOT analysis and collect data to assess the status quo and identify gaps for strategic action.


Develop a coaching plan, set objectives, develop a business case, and break the goal down in targets.


Provide technical assistance, policy support, motivation and accountability. Conduct in-person coaching visits and establish coaching frequency.


Provide ongoing monitoring and connect organizations with networking and mentorship opportunities.

Three GridCo technicians pose in front of an electric power station
GridCo Technicians
Ryan Kilpatrick / USAID

Launched in 2015, USAID’s Engendering Industries program supports organizations in developing countries to increase economic opportunities for women and improve gender equality in the workplace. Expanding women’s participation in male-dominated sectors leads to tangible economic empowerment outcomes for women, such as formal employment opportunities and higher income. Increased gender equality also improves an organization’s business performance, helping companies meet their bottom-line by enhancing employee satisfaction, reducing turnover, and driving productivity. Well-functioning organizations are also vital in supporting stronger and more resilient economies. Through a customized best practices framework, demand-driven coaching, and a Gender Equity Executive Leadership Program, Engendering Industries builds the capacity of leaders to implement gender equality interventions that increase the professional participation of women and improve business performance.

Thursday, October 21, 2021 - 1:15pm

Last updated: February 23, 2022