Engendering Industries Partner, EDESUR, Awarded UNDP Gender Equality Seal

The gender equality best practices implemented through Engendering Industries helped EDESUR achieve a top-tier gold seal award.

In April 2023, the Dominican Republic Ministry of Women awarded Engendering Industries partner, Edesur Dominicana, S.A., the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Gender Equality Gold Seal for their efforts to advance workforce gender equality. Achieving the UNDP Gender Equality Seal was a goal set early in the utility’s partnership with Engendering Industries.  

In partnership with national governments and the private sector, UNDP developed the Gender Equality Seal Certification Programme to recognize organizations for meeting specific standards to promote gender equality and empower women in the workplace. The program assesses gender equality across eight categories: governance and strategy, remuneration, professional development, worklife balance and care, recruitment and selection, gender-based violence (including sexual and sex-based harassment), marketing and communication, and supply chain management. Participating organizations can be awarded bronze, silver, or gold seals based on their scores in each category. EDESUR scored 93 percent overall, placing them in the top tier. 

“By reaching this category, Edesur Dominicana reaffirms efforts to break down gaps and barriers in the electricity sector, which has historically been dominated by men," said EDESUR Managing Director Milton Morrison

When EDESUR partnered with Engendering Industries in 2018, the company had few women working in technical roles. The utility had no policies in place related to gender equality, and identified corporate culture as a barrier to women’s advancement. Between 2018 and 2023, EDESUR participated in the Engendering Industries Gender Equity Executive Leadership Program, received change management coaching to implement best practices on gender equality, and participated in Engendering Industries’ men’s engagement trainings.  

Through this work, EDESUR began shifting workplace conditions. The company drafted, enhanced, and implemented ten new policies, including equal employment opportunity, gender equity, anti-discrimination, and work-life balance policies. The company also established maternity and paternity leave policies, extending paternity leave from two days to fifteen days, exceeding national standards. The company also developed and implemented survivor-centered policies on sexual harassment and gender-based violence and deployed public campaigns to raise awareness and take a stand against gender-based violence. These and other strategic actions to recruit and retain women helped EDESUR hire more than 900 women since 2018 and promote more than 350. 

Increased gender equality at EDESUR has resulted in improved business performance, including increased productivity and retention. After the utility hired more than 100 women into technical positions in the logistics, project management, and regulation and energy buying departments, these divisions rehabilitated 935 miles of power lines, added more than 500,000 smart meters to the grid, and improved the average service availability from 89 percent to over 98 percent. 

EDESUR joins two other Engendering Industries partners in the energy sector that have achieved the same certification: Interconexión Eléctrica S.A. ESP and CELSIA in Colombia.