Distribuidora de Electricidad DELSUR, El Salvador

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Engendering Industries Partner Profile

One of 18 distribution companies in El Salvador, DELSUR services 25 percent of the national market with a workforce that is 20 percent female. USAID is proud to work with DELSUR in their commitment to improve gender equality in the energy sector as part of their path to long-term success.

El Salvador restructured its energy sector in 1996, with the formation of new market entities and the unbundling of generation, transmission, distribution and commercialization. The country currently has 18 generation companies and eight distribution companies, with a single government-owned transmission company responsible for the maintenance and expansion of the transmission system.

El Salvador’s male-dominated energy sector mirrors the country’s overall labor participation rates. According to the International Labour Organization, only 47 percent of women participate in El Salvador’s labor market. Of the women who are not participating in the workforce, seven out of 10 cite domestic work and safety concerns as reasons for their inactivity. Safety concerns are warranted, as the rate of violent crime against women in El Salvador is now the third-highest in the world.

Women’s empowerment is important to DELSUR, and the company has participated in many programs to increase their gender balance and support of local communities. USAID is partnering with DELSUR through the Engendering Industries program to assess and identify high-impact interventions that can improve gender equality within the organization. Through Engendering Industries, USAID is providing tailored coaching to DELSUR staff on gender equality and business best practices, and select utility personnel are participating in the Gender Equity Executive Leadership Program in collaboration with Georgetown University.

A dedicated change management coach provided by the Engendering Industries program is working with DELSUR to identify opportunities to address perceptions around obstacles women face in career advancement, including their comfort level with technical jobs. Through this coaching, the utility will develop a tailored action plan to best fit their needs. DELSUR will also place a strong emphasis on engaging influential male leaders as champions of gender equality.

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, March 7, 2019 - 4:30am

Last updated: February 23, 2022