Instituto Nacional de Aguas Potables y Alcantarillados (INAPA), Dominican Republic

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INAPA provides drinking water, wastewater services, and rainwater disposal to 71 percent of the population. The utility is partnering with USAID to increase gender equality and improve company performance.
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    Engendering Industries Welcomes New Partners

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Engendering Industries Partner Profile

INAPA provides drinking water, wastewater services, and rainwater disposal to 71 percent of the population in the Dominican Republic. The utility is partnering with USAID to increase gender balance and improve company performance.

When women serve as leaders and employees, businesses benefit and company performance improves. USAID’s Engendering Industries program works to increase women’s participation in male-dominated sectors globally. In 2021, Engendering Industries partnered with INAPA—a water utility in the Dominican Republic—to design workplace initiatives that will expand job opportunities for women and enhance the utility’s performance.  INAPA provides drinking water supply systems, wastewater services, and rainwater disposal to both urban and rural parts of the Dominican Republic. Established as a state-owned company in 1962, INAPA serves 71 percent of the country’s population across 25 provinces. Recognizing that diverse teams build better businesses, INAPA is partnering with USAID to increase gender balance across the company and encourage more women to enter the Dominican Republic’s water sector.

Gender Equality in Action at INAPA

Engendering Industries uses a globally-recognized evidence-based methodology to support women’s participation in the Dominican Republic’s water sector. The program supports INAPA to increase opportunities for women by introducing gender equality initiatives at each phase of the employee lifecycle—from reducing gender bias at the hiring stage, to creating strategies that will help retain female talent. Engendering Utilities is supporting INAPA towards their goal of advancing gender equality within the organization.

A dedicated change management coach supports the utility and works directly with three staff to become agents of change within INAPA. A baseline assessment is conducted to identify gaps and opportunities for improving gender equality across the company. The findings are used to develop a strategic action plan that will facilitate INAPA’s gender equality goals. This is supplemented by the program’s partnership with the Georgetown University McDonough School of Business, which delivers the Gender Equity Executive Leadership Program (GEELP) to three utility employees. The GEELP is a best-in-class 12-month executive course that empowers decision-makers to integrate gender equality initiatives into their corporate structure.

Engendering Utilities will also work to support and accelerate existing gender equality initiatives underway at INAPA, including:

  • Leveraging the Department of Gender Equity and Development, which plays an important role in advancing women’s careers at the utility.
  • Strengthening of gender equality training, particularly related to gender-based violence. INAPA trains employees on topics such as intimate partner violence, femicide, psychological and emotional violence, and more.
  • Becoming an employer of choice for women by marketing, communicating, and recognizing women through events such as International Women’s Day, which the utility celebrates annually with a conference for female employees. During the conference, the utility also recognizes a select number of women with awards for their contributions to INAPA.

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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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