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March 8, 2021

K-Electric commits to enabling greater gender-diversity and inclusion within power sector

Karachi

March 8, 2021

International Women’s Day 2021 is an opportunity to recognise and celebrate the contribution and accomplishments of today’s growing female workforce and the key role that women play in our lives, said a press release issued by the K-Electric on Sunday.

“At K-Electric, it is yet another opportunity for the power utility to reinforce its mission of driving a narrative of gender empowerment by employing more women in technical roles, focusing on developing a gender balanced workplace and increasing female representation. This is in line with its commitment to support greater inclusion across hierarchies and functions,” said the power utility.

“Gender equity is a cornerstone at the organisation and part of its strategy. This includes enabling women to move into senior management positions, as well as taking on roles traditionally considered to be a man’s job. For example, K-Electric introduced women meter readers back in 2019, and has managed to successfully break that stereotype.

“K-Electric has also developed several initiatives that promote training and professional development for not just the male workforce but also women as part of its commitment to meeting the UN’s 5th Sustainability Development Goal (SDG 5) that aims to achieve gender equality and women empowerment by the year 2030. KE recently launched the ‘Roshni Baji’ program through which forty women have been on-boarded and trained as safety ambassadors. These women will engage with over 100,000 households in their own communities to raise awareness about general safety, electrical safety, rain safety, power theft hazards and energy conservation. They will also eventually be trained as certified electricians, creating a new talent pool for the industry at large.”

The statement further said: “KE’s diverse work force and culture is one of its key strength and recognising the potential of women in multiple areas of business, the Company is engaged in promoting STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) learning as well. In line with this vision, KE has inducted its first five Women Grid Operating Officers (GOOs), to take on challenging roles in the Transmission business.”

Speaking on the KE’s drive to engage more women in the power sector, Sadia Dada, K-Electric’s CMCO, said; “According to a study by WePower in collaboration with The World Bank’s Energy Sector Management Assistant Program, women constitute only 4% of the workforce in Pakistan’s energy utilities. Addressing this gender under-representation became an imperative for us.

“Today I am proud to say that KE is the first and only power utility in Pakistan to hire women in unprecedented technical roles including as Grid Operators and Meter Readers. We have doubled women’s representation across the organisation in just the last two years, including for the first time, two women leaders in KE’s seven member C-Suite. Our vision to economically empower and uplift women goes beyond KE’s workforce, as we also encourage our partner companies to strengthen their women representation.”

To date, Pakistan’s Energy Sector remains one of the least gender diverse sectors and women face structural and cultural challenges in professional growth and success. Pakistan ranks very low at 151/153 on the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Gender Gap Index 2020, with steep challenges faced by women in the country with regards to social indicators like health, education & financial inclusion. With an almost gender equal population, 80 per cent of the female population still struggles to play its due role in national progress.

The power utility said: “The presence of two women in leadership roles at K-Electric is not only a diversity & inclusion milestone for the organisation but also resonates with the ‘Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world International Women’s Day (IWD)’ agenda for 2021 which is about collective individualism to create a more gender equal world and workforce.

“Along with increasing female representation to support greater inclusion across hierarchies and functions, KE also remains committed to growing the participation of female athletes in various sporting activities. The ‘First Women’s Football League’, organized and sponsored by KE in 2018, with over 160 players representing all areas of Karachi is a prime example. Earlier in 2016 KE had sponsored the ‘Girls Boxing Championship’, where 20 female boxers from Lyari demonstrated their talent.”