Gender Equity Executive Leadership Program Graduates

On April 5th, 2022, 34 participants of USAID’s Engendering Industries program graduated from the Gender Equity Executive Leadership Program. Developed by USAID and Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business, the 12-month program delivers a best-in-class curriculum that empowers managers and decision-makers to effectively integrate gender equality initiatives across their organization. The leadership program is part of Engendering Industries Intensive Program, which works with 41 partners in 27 countries to create economic opportunities for women.

The leadership program supported participants to refine the skills needed to design and implement gender equality strategies at their organization.

“We honed our skills in developing our Gender Equality Strategic Maps for our respective companies. I, for one, have become aware of all the unconscious biases we carry in our decisions and in the judgments we make.”

— Djenaba Sidibe, Project Manager - Strategic Planning, SENELEC, Senegal

The 34 program graduates make up the third cohort of companies participating in the program and hail from 11 participating utilities spanning ten countries. Participants of the leadership program learned how to analyze existing company policies and practices with a gender lens and worked with a gender equality and change management coach to create actions plans to address workplace gender equality gaps.

Participants also learned how to monitor company progress and evaluate their company’s gender equality efforts. Course participants will continue to receive support from their gender equality and change management coaches going forward. Using a customized scorecard, participants will work with their organizations to make strategic, data-driven decisions to improve gender equality and track the impact of gender equality interventions on overall company performance.

As a result of their participation in the Engendering Industries program and Gender Equity Executive Leadership Course, the 11 graduating utilities have:

  • Implemented more than 140 gender equality activities
  • Drafted, reviewed, and implemented 20 policies
  • Hired more than 210 women, and promoted 699 women into technical and leadership positions
  • Accepted 223 young women into internship and trainee programs
  • Reached more than 1,300 female learners and job seekers through school outreach and career recruitment events
  • Trained 20,584 women on technical and soft skills to support career advancement
  • Trained 730 men and 800 women on gender equality issues.

“Women are underrepresented in the formal workforce globally, and particularly in male-dominated industries, like the energy and water sectors. Gender equality is not just an issue of fairness. Research shows that when women serve as leaders and employees of private companies, businesses benefit, and performance improves,” said USAID Senior Gender Advisor Corinne Hart.

2018 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. Companies with gender-diverse boards outperform those with no women during times of crisis or volatility.

About Engendering Industries

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.

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