Current Status and Opportunities

Discussion with Pacific Island utilities has helped to identify the status of current challenges in terms of gender equality in the sector, as well as pointing towards opportunities to address these.

Current Status Opportunity
Historically, few women have been included in the sector workforce – particularly in technical roles – and there is often a shortage of suitable candidates for open technical positions in the utility workforce Target women as an untapped labor pool in recruitment campaigns, particularly for technical positions. Put in place mentoring and leadership development programs for women and men to enable progression through their careers.
Workforce and management lack resources and training to help them understand how gender equality issues are relevant to their work Create peer network and training resources dedicated to advancing understanding of gender equality and diversity issues within the workplace
HR policies do not currently incorporate measures to target recruitment and career progression of women and other non-traditional candidates, especially for technical roles Support HR and management to put in place progressive policies for hiring and promoting women, and to overall enhance workforce development
Awareness of career opportunities in the utility sector among women and youth is low. There is no central repository for careers advice or job openings in the sector. Create a careers outreach channel with schools, technical training institutions, and universities in the region. Actively begin engaging with young children on STEM education, together with other employer partners
Workplace culture may not have evolved enough to make women and youth feel welcomed and included Engage management and boards to help change workplace culture from the top down. Create “safe spaces” for employees to contribute, feel empowered or articulate grievances
Public perception of the utility workforce is highly gendered (i.e. administrative should be “female” and technical should be “male”). Create an outreach and communications campaign designed to highlight the diversity of opportunities within the utility workforce.