Key Pillars of WePOWER
The chart above illustrates the five key pillars of engagement for WePOWER. Each pillar has its own goals and activities to help close the employment gap for women in the South Asian power sector.
WePOWER partners and members agree to support the following five key pillars:
Pillar 1: STEM Education: Raising interest in girls for STEM subjects, increasing female enrollment in engineering programs, access to power sector/energy coursework and practical internship opportunities will be key to ensuring a pipeline of qualified female candidates.
Pillar 2: Recruitment: Engaging with engineering students and engineering professionals to raise awareness of viable jobs/opportunities in the power sector. This will require a partnership between the private sector, civil society organizations, the academic institutions, existing local networks (if any), and power sector organizations (utilities) to organize job fairs and networking events.
Pillar 3: Professional Development: Personal and professional development opportunities, such as mentorship programs, leadership training/coaching, are crucial for women’s continued progression in their careers, especially in the more technical fields.
Pillar 4: Retention: A conducive/gender-friendly working environment and support for increased household responsibilities after marriage are the two major factors for the low retention of women. Addressing these through instituting family-friendly HR policies, providing reintegrating services for returning mothers and access to facilities such as daycare services, separate toilets, and safe transportation services will be crucial.
Pillar 5: Policy and Institutional Change: This forms a cross-cutting base for the other pillars in order to achieve normative change in society. Institutionalizing and enforcing gender considerations at the national and institutional level will be crucial. This will entail policies for encouraging more women to study STEM subjects, quotas/targets for female enrollment and hiring in academic/power sector and lobbying for more women in senior/board positions.