Energizing Equality: Unlocking the potential of women’s participation in sub-Saharan African energy utilities

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Energy utility companies in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) are powerful drivers of economic and social development. Utilities are often among the largest employers in a community and can therefore drive socially inclusive economic development and empowerment when unlocking opportunities for women. Not only is hiring women anti-discriminatory, but effectively developing women’s talent can be key in improving a utility’s operational performance.

This brief presents new baseline data from across the SSA region to understand women’s roles and leadership in utilities, which will be essential to measure future progress of women’s participation in the sector. Additionally, this analysis identifies some of the interventions implemented by SSA utilities, such as on-campus recruiting activities, mentorship programs, and sexual harassment policies.

This analysis was conducted in partnership with Power Africa and utilized the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Environment and Gender Information (EGI) quantitative and qualitative analysis framework in order to:

  • collect data on utilities’ leadership composition;
  • identify existing interventions;
  • gather information from utilities through an online survey; and
  • conduct interviews with key utilities’ staff.

This research was developed under Advancing Gender in the Environment (AGENT), a ten-year program launched by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented by IUCN.

Sustainable Development Goals