EKEDC Nigeria: Bring Your Daughter to Work Day

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Young girls wearing company shirts and hard hats pose for a photo in an electric utility control room.
Girls attend EKEDC’s first ever Bring Your Daughter to Work Day, supported by USAID’s Engendering Industries program.
EkoElectricity Distribution Company (EKEDC)

Opening New Career Prospects for Nigerian Girls

On July 15, 2016, EkoElectricty Distribution Company (EKEDC) in Nigeria hosted 35 girls for its first Bring Your Daughter to Work Day, under USAID’s Engendering Industries program. The event encouraged the girls to continue learning, consider futures without gender limitations and see the many job options in the energy sector.

“Promoting gender equality is fundamental to our company. Already, women hold four out of our company’s six top management positions.”

Queen Esther, a Nigerian school girl, had always dreamed of becoming a fashion designer. However, after spending a day at her father’s workplace, Nigeria’s main electricity utility, EkoElectricty Distribution Company (EKEDc), she became excited about new job possibilities. “Now I want to become an engineer because it’s really cool!” she said.

Girls learn about the energy consumption of various types of lighting.
Girls learn about the energy consumption of various types of lighting.
EkoElectricity Distribution Company (EKEDC)

Thirty-five girls from ages 7 to 13 spent an entire day at EKEDC attending its first ever Bring Your Daughter to Work Day, supported by USAID’s Engendering Industries program. The event was designed to encourage Nigerian girls to continue to study, think about their futures without gender limitations, and expose them to the many job options in the energy sector—not a common career choice for Nigerian women.

“Promoting gender equality is fundamental to our company,” Engineer Oladele Amoda, General Manager and CEO of EKEDC, told the girls during their visit. “Already, women hold four out of our company’s six top management positions.” In a country where women are disadvantaged in most aspects of livelihood and well-being—including employment, income and health—EKEDC sets a positive example to follow.

Nigeria’s energy sector and electricity generation sparked the girls’ interest, as they learned from a three-dimensional dam prototype how energy is generated through hydropower, and then transmitted and distributed to light city streets. The model itself was created by five Nigerian architecture students who built it as an interactive learning tool.

The participants, like this girl, got many opportunities to learn about electricity during their visit.
The participants, like this girl, got many opportunities to learn about electricity during their visit.
EkoElectricity Distribution Company (EKEDC)

The girls also learned about different types of lighting and energy conservation by feeling the heat produced by different types of bulbs and seeing the amount of energy consumed measured on working meters. After the event, many parents said their daughters checked the light bulbs at home to be sure they were using energy-saving bulbs and turned off unnecessary lights. Some also inspected their homes for safe wiring.

“If you could only have one item to power at home, what would it be?” the girls were asked during their visit. They unanimously said “computer” because with a computer they could learn, watch their shows, play games and even charge their cell phones. The day spent at the Nigerian energy utility opened the girls’ eyes to the role electricity plays in their own lives and—for the first time—many of the girls thought to add engineering to the list of their future dream jobs.

Having women join the energy sector is a win for everyone. Studies have shown that investing in girls and women will increase productivity and promote sustainable growth, peace and better health for the next generation. In addition, energy companies are often among the largest employers in a country. Increased access to jobs in the sector means greater access to jobs for women.

The Bring Your Daughter to Work Day in Nigeria was part of USAID’s Engendering Industries program aiming to increase women’s professional participation in the energy distribution sector and expand women’s career options, while improving the quality and cost of electricity services. In 2016, USAID has also supported Bring Your Daughter to Work Days in Macedonia, Jordan and Kenya.

Thirty-five girls from ages 7 to 13 join EKEDC managers and engineers for Bring Your Daughter to Work Day.
Thirty-five girls from ages 7 to 13 join EKEDC managers and engineers for Bring Your Daughter to Work Day.
EkoElectricity Distribution Company (EKEDC)

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.

Last updated: February 23, 2022

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