Gender inequality in energy and regulation has been a longstanding challenge, prohibiting growth and sustainability and affecting energy services, labor and decision-making. Studies have shown that when women are given the opportunity to take on larger and more diverse roles within regulatory agencies, they will have a positive impact on management, operation and growth of their institutions.
For regulators and policymakers, the need to consider gender goes far beyond greater representation within regulatory agencies and the energy sector as a whole. Intentional efforts must be made to ensure that gender-specific considerations are included in policy and regulatory frameworks. Countries are recognizing the value and need of gender equality and have set specific gender based goals in policymaking and/or have committed to a gender-inclusive approach to energy sector reform.
With the support of the United States Agency for International Development, NARUC is taking a multi-pronged approach to help address systemic issues of gender inequality in energy and regulation.
Women's Global Development and Prosperity (W-GDP) Initiative
The Women’s Global Development and Prosperity (W-GDP) W-GDP Initiative, launched by the White House in February 2019, is the first whole-of-Government effort to advance women’s economic empowerment globally with a focus on three pillars: women prospering in the workforce, women succeeding as entrepreneurs, and women enabled in the economy. W-GDP seeks to reach 50 million women in the developing world by 2025 through U.S. government activities, private-public partnerships, and a new, innovative W-GDP Fund housed in and managed by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). With W-GDP support, USAID and NARUC are launching a new two-year project, Advancing Women Leaders in Energy.
Women in Energy Regulation Internship
NARUC has launched an internship program intended to foster interest among young women in energy regulation by giving them the opportunity to hold short-term positions within their country's energy commissions. By completing this program, it is envisioned that interns will acquire the basic skills and institutional knowledge needed to pursue a career in the sector and become attractive candidates for employment within the host commission, other regulatory agencies, or among regulated entities such as electric utilities.
Practical Guide to Women in Energy Regulation
Developed in collaboration with USAID’s Energy Division, the Practical Guide to Women in Energy Regulation introduces concepts on gender equality in energy regulation. The guide provides energy regulators with strategies to support gender equality and representation for women within the sector and analyzes three pathways for gender inclusion in the energy regulatory sector: (1) the workforce, (2) regulatory policy, and (3) large infrastructure projects.