The Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) has projected a five per cent increase in its female workforce within the next five years as part of efforts to mainstream gender equality and inclusion in its operations.
The move under the newly launched Gender and Social Inclusion (GSI) Policy envisages that by 2035, the number of female employees with the company would have been increased to at least 40 per cent from its current 24 per cent figure.
The Managing Director, Mr Kwame Agyeman-Budu, giving an overview of the policy in Accra yesterday, indicated that per a strategic plan to operationalise the document, women at decision making levels would be increased from 25 to at least 40 per cent within the period.
According to him, other interventions including revising recruitment processes, offering mentorship and training programmes to develop the interest of females in the energy sector as well as provide incentives to promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) careers among others, would be pursued to make the policy functional.
“ECG will make concerted efforts to ensure that its strategies, policies, plans, activities, budgets, programmes, projects, systems and structures are promoting gender equality, diversity and social inclusion,” he maintained.
The Managing Director explained that the policy which aims at improving ECG’s performance in line with international best practices was also to give meaning to the Millennium Development Authority’s (MiDA) agenda to increase gender access to energy in Ghana under the Power Compact Programme for economic growth.
“We have organised sensitisation in all 84 branches of the company across the country and have reassigned the GSI section to the Corporate Affairs to indicate management determination to ensure that GSI is implemented in all our policies,” he stated.
Director, Gender and Social Inclusion of MiDA, Dr Cherub Antwi-Nsiah, in a keynote address justified the need for gender and social integration interventions across all levels in the energy sector to maximise outcome of the nation’s compact programme.
She lauded ECG for taking the bold step to mainstream GSI in its corporate structure, enumerating benefits to the company such as efficiency in its operations, stakeholder satisfaction, improved grid reliability, balanced work-life for staff and greater recognition of women’s contribution to the energy sector at large.
“We are confident that you will continue to lead the way for promoting gender and social integration in the energy sector. I am happy to hear that ECG has opened its doors to any institution that wants to learn from it and I hope that other energy organisations would come to learn from you,” Dr Antwi-Nsiah noted.
A Deputy Minister of Energy, in charge of Power, William Owuraku Aidoo, pledged the ministry’s commitment to support women working in the sector “particularly women who produce fossil fuel as we move towards renewable energy to give them the needed confidence in the industry”.
BY ABIGAIL ANNOH