Donors have increasingly acknowledged the critical nexus of energy and gender equality; however a focus on creating tangible economic opportunities for women within the energy workforce has not always been an explicit priority for development agencies. USAID is broadening the approach to addressing inequality in the energy sector by funding activities that increase gender equity in energy companies, utilities, and institutions.

Through projects like Engendering Utilities, and Enhancing Equality in Energy for Southeast Asia (“E4SEA”), USAID supports energy companies to shift their mindset from gender equality as a “nice to have,” to gender equality as a business imperative. USAID partners who once viewed women only as energy consumers now see women as powerful actors and leaders in the energy space.

The benefits of a gender diverse workforce are clear - over 65 percent of companies surveyed by the International Labor Organization in the Asia Pacific region report that gender diversity and equality initiatives enhanced business outcomes, including profitability and productivity, in surveyed companies. In fact, most gender-diverse companies increased profits by 10 to 15 percent. Gender equality also benefits the economic empowerment and livelihoods of women, creating a more prosperous economy for all.

USAID’s Delivering Gender Equality: A Best Practices Framework for Male-Dominated Industries is the foundational framework that USAID uses to support energy organizations around the world to take a systems and organizational change management approach to achieving gender equality. Through USAID’s support, energy partners are building strong female talent pipelines, creating more equitable policies, ramping up female recruitment efforts, and putting women in the line of succession.

Partners that have continued to prioritize these gender equality initiatives during COVID-19 have demonstrated increased resilience to the crisis. Gender equality, diversity, and inclusion efforts receded at many organizations, as leaders turned their attention to acute strategies that ensured the economic survival of the business. Yet gender equality has been shown to improve resiliency, strengthen disaster response planning, and better-prepare organizations for an uncertain future.

Our panelists will discuss why a systems approach is key to advancing workforce gender equality, and the ways gender equality has increased organizational resiliency during the pandemic.


  • Understand USAID’s systems approach to advancing gender equality in the energy sector through programs such as E4SEA and Engendering Utilities. E4SEA’s identification of challenges that prevent women from acquiring the necessary education for entering and advancing in the energy sector is to develop interventions in partnership with educational institutions and energy employers. USAID’s Engendering Utilities Activity focuses on the utilities to improve gender equality across each phase of the employee life cycle through a variety of tools and best practices.
  • Learn how USAID partners are making the business case for gender equality, and championing gender equality approaches as a strategy to increase organizational resilience to crises in response to COVID-19 and strengthening business performance.
  • Learn about critical areas of gender equality that are sometimes overlooked and underfunded such as engaging men as gender equality champions and empowering women to lead in technical, traditionally male-dominated areas.


Time (Manila) Activities
08:00-08:10 p.m. USAID Welcome Remarks
Amanda Van den Dool, Energy and Infrastructure Team Lead, USAID Regional Development Mission for Asia
08:10-08:20 p.m. Insights on barriers and opportunities to gender equality and women’s participation in the energy sector in Southeast Asia
Khan Ram-Indra, Chief of Party, USAID E4SEA program
08:20-08:30 p.m. Increasing leadership in the industry through gender equality
Jasmine Boehm, Lead Change Management Coach, USAID Engendering Utilities program
08:30-09:10 p.m. Implementing gender equality initiatives for a stronger, more resilient energy sector
Panel discussion moderated by Corinne Hart, Senior Gender Advisor, Energy and Environment, USAID
09:10-09-15 p.m. Best practices tools and resources to support gender equality interventions, including during times of crisis
Jasmine Boehm, Lead Change Management Coach, USAID Engendering Utilities program
09:15-09:25 p.m. Q&A
09:25-09:30 p.m. Wrap up

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About Organizers

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is the lead U.S. Government agency that works to end extreme global poverty and enable resilient, democratic societies to realize their potential. USAID’s work safeguards this mission and puts countries on a path to pursue clean energy growth and resilient, low-carbon development. Countries around the world are feeling the effects of climate change, from more intense heat waves, droughts, floods and storms to slower-moving changes like ocean acidification. USAID is sharing world-class knowledge, data and tools to ensure countries can predict, prepare for and adapt to change. USAID also helps countries lay the foundations for sustainable growth powered by clean energy and healthy landscapes.

USAID’s Engendering Utilities program works with male-dominated industries, including with electricity and water utilities in developing countries to increase economic opportunities for women and improve gender equality in the workplace. Expanding women’s participation in the traditionally male-dominated energy and water sectors leads to tangible economic empowerment outcomes for women, such as formal employment opportunities and higher income. Engendering Utilities delivers a unique approach to improving gender equality in the energy and water sectors. Using customized best practices, demand-driven coaching, and a Gender Equity Executive Leadership Program, Engendering Utilities builds the capacity of utility leaders within 43 utilities across 29 countries to implement gender equality interventions in their organizations. Engendering Utilities partners receive:

  • Global best practices to implement gender equality interventions.
  • USAID’s Delivering Gender Equality: A Best Practices Framework for Male-Dominated Industries
  • provides tools and resources to implement gender equality interventions throughout the employee life cycle.

  • Gender Equity Executive Leadership Program (GEELP). Developed by USAID and Georgetown University, this 12-month certificate program empowers partner utility employees to effectively integrate gender equality initiatives within their corporate structure.
  • Demand-driven change management coaching. Each utility is paired with an expert change management and gender equality coach who provides tailored technical support.

Additionally, the upcoming Engendering Utilities’ Accelerated Program offers its’ first seven-week virtual course in partnership with its partner, Vietnam Fulbright University, beginning in September 2021 to interested energy sector employers in the SEA region, leveraging the Best Practices Framework and offering five follow-on virtual coaching sessions.

USAID Enhancing Equality in Energy For Southeast Asia

Enhancing Equality in Energy for Southeast Asia (E4SEA) is a USAID Activity that aims to improve gender equality in Southeast Asia’s energy sector to advance women’s economic empowerment and strengthen energy institutions. Women are underrepresented in the workforce across Southeast Asia, particularly in male-dominated industries like the energy sector. This is more than an issue of equity—it is a missed economic opportunity for countries, companies, and communities. The three-year E4SEA activity will expand regional knowledge around gender equality and the energy sector to transform attitudes and remove biases on women in the workforce. The project will partner with educational institutions and energy sector employers to attract and retain women through organizational change and leadership development.

Point of Contact

Morgan Hillenbrand, Tetra Tech (Engendering Utilities)