Webinar "A modern utility, a diverse workforce: lessons from gender assessments in three utilities of the Danube region"

11 March, 2019, online

Around the globe, an increasing number of private and public companies are realizing that promoting gender equality in the workplace is good for business and development. In the Danube region, utilities often face a predominantly male and sometimes aging workforce. However, gender gaps in tertiary education including in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics are closing. For the water sector, creating an environment with equal opportunities for men and at all levels of responsibility and an inclusive work culture should thus be an integral part of every utility’s modernization process.

Over the course of 2018, the Danube Water Program and the World Bank Global Water Security and Sanitation Partnership collaborated with three pioneering utilities in the Danube region to take a closer look at gender equality in their workplace. Brasov Regional Water Utility in Romania, the Prishtina Regional Water Utility in Kosovo and the Tirana Water Utility in Albania undertook gender assessment, using the methodology of the EDGE Certified Foundation. In Brasov and Tirana the analysis also looked at the age profile of utility staff.

The assessment focused on various areas, including i) a gender balance at all levels of the organization; ii) a solid framework of policies and practices to ensure equitable career flows for both women and men and iii) an inclusive culture as reflected in employees’ high ratings in terms of career development opportunities, and iv) for Brasov utility, an assessment of equal pay for equal work.The objective of the webinar is to increase knowledge and awareness and inform a dialogue on how to understand and narrow gender gaps in water utilities through inclusive human resource management practices. In this webinar, senior utility representatives will share the methodology, results and recommendations of the assessment and their reflections on actions that utilities could take to enhance gender equality on the utility floors.

Agenda: * Introduction by chair, Susanna Smets, Sr. Water Supply and Sanitation Specialist, World Bank * Speaker Ms. Evis Gjebrea, Deputy Director, Tirana Water Utility. * Speaker Mr. Teodor Popa, Chief Financial Officer, Brasov Water Company * Speaker Ms. Anita Hajredini, Coordinator of CEO’s office, Regional Water Company Prishtina * Discussant Philip Weller, Program Coordinator, IAWD * Question and Answer session

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