The evidence is clear: enabling greater equality of opportunities for women and men in the infrastructure and natural resources sector has great rewards. Even though women are a growing segment of the world’s workforce, most infrastructure and natural resources-related activities in leadership, employment, supply chain, and decision-making continue to be male-dominated. It is not just the companies that benefit when gender equality is facilitated, but also women, families, communities, and ultimately the countries.
IFC’s Sustainable Infrastructure Advisory’s work has a strong focus on increasing opportunities for women. We work to enhance the role of women as leaders and employees, as entrepreneurs across the supply chain, and as involved and represented community members. Women are also the customers and users of infrastructure services, and by creating these opportunities, we introduce avenues for capacity-building and the strengthening of potential corporate partnerships. We work with our clients to develop opportunities to increase gender equality in their operations by strengthening the capacity of clients, communities, and project teams to implement gender smart solutions. It involves creating and developing tools, business case studies, and generating other knowledge products which leverage previous experience.
Companies that recognize the importance of a more diverse workforce have reported positive rewards: stronger supply chain network, improved community/customer engagement, increased productivity, reduction in costs, better customer satisfaction and strengthened social license to operate.