Gender Equality in International Energy Engagements

Women in Energy Agreements A

Role of Gender in International Energy Agreements

Event Structure

On the side-lines of the U.S. India Strategic Energy Partnership (SEP), USAID is pleased to host a high-level dialogue on the ‘Role of Gender in International Energy Engagements’. The event will also mark the release of a thought leadership paper on ‘Bridging the Gender Diversity Gap in the Energy and Industrial Sector: Best Practices in Gender Mainstreaming’. This paper has been developed as part of South Asia Women in Energy (SAWIE), a joint initiative of USAID and the U.S.-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF). Spencer Stuart, Knowledge Partner for SAWIE, has developed the paper.

The event will comprise of high-level inaugural including a keynote address from Elizabeth Urbanas, Deputy Assistant Secretary (DAS), U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). She will highlight the critical role engagements such as SEP can play in highlighting the gender gap and focusing discussions at the highest level on this critical issue. Vaishali Nigam Sinha, Chief CSR, Sustainability & Communications Officer, ReNew Power, Chairperson SAWIE will deliver special address highlighting the role for conduits like SAWIE in bringing together key stakeholders on the same platform to ideate, agree and deliver tangible outcomes to bridge the gender gap. This will be followed by the public release of the paper and a high-level panel discussion comprising of international women leaders. Refer to the end of this document for the detailed agenda.


The energy sector remains one of the most gender imbalanced and gender equality holds a greater challenge in the energy sector globally. Women comprise less than 6 percent of te/event/gender-equity-challenges/chnical staff and less than 1 percent of top managers. An open dialogue and a commitment to change, combined with implementing initiatives that promote participation of women in these sectors, not only at the organizational level, but rather at a societal and individual level, will in turn help business leaders craft a more deliberate diversity strategy that better aligns with the behavior of both men and women.

USAID believes that gender equality and women’s empowerment is not just a part of development but the core of development. To execute this goal, each activity at USAID includes ‘Gender’ as a cross-cutting theme. To promote and enhance women representation at the leadership levels in the energy sector, USAID in partnership with USISPF established the South Asia Women in Energy (SAWIE) platform. USAID through SAWIE will hold multiple discussions and roundtables to deliberate upon key challenges and solutions to reduce the existing gender gap particularly in the energy sector at the leadership level.

Key objective of this event is to discuss the integration of gender equality norms as a part of the U.S.-India bilateral energy relationships. The discussions will include some of the key experiences and lessons learnt from existing international energy engagements which can be replicated. Also, an earlier roundtable organized by SAWIE on May 11, 2020 with Chief Human Resource Officers (CHROs) from leading energy and industrial companies resulted in a paper comprising of key best practices, that when replicated, can help create an enabling environment for a gender balanced workplace. This paper will be released during the event.


SAWIE, a joint initiative of U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the U.S.-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF), aims to promote women’s empowerment and gender sensitization in the energy sector in South Asia region. The platform brings together leaders, particularly women leaders, across the energy sector to design interventions focused around outreach and recruitment; mentorship and leadership; increasing women’s participation in networking and brainstorming events, and professional development that can help bridge the gender gaps. USAID is supporting the SAWIE platform through ‘Greening the Grid- Renewable Integration and Sustainable Energy (GTG-RISE), a key Asia EDGE (Enhancing development and Growth through Energy) initiative implemented by Deloitte Consulting.  For more information on SAWIE, please visit


Time (IST) Sessions/Speakers
7:00-7:05 pm Welcome remarks

Nolty Theriot, Senior Vice President, USISPF

7:05-7:10 pm Opening Remarks

Michael Satin, Director, CLEEO, USAID/India

7:10-7:20 pm Keynote Address

Elizabeth Urbanas, Deputy Assistant Secretary, U.S. Department of Energy

7:20-7:25 pm Special Remarks

Vaishali Nigam Sinha, Chief CSR, Sustainability & Communications Officer, ReNew Power, Chairperson SAWIE

7:25-7:30 pm Public Release of the Paper ‘Bridging the Gender Diversity Gap in the Energy and Industrial Sector: Best Practices in Gender Mainstreaming’
7:30-7:40 pm Key recommendations in Gender Mainstreaming and Adoption of Best Practices

Vishal Seth, Partner & Co-Lead Industrial Practice, Spencer Stuart

P.R. Kumar, CEO, BSES Yamuna Power Limited

7:40-8:25 pm Moderated Panel Session – Role of Gender in International Energy Engagements

Moderated by Dr. Shalini Sarin, Chair, Centre for Clean Energy, Plaksha University and Co-Chairperson, SAWIE

–          Kathleen Alana McGinty, Vice-President, Global Government Relations, Johnson Controls

–          Meagan Fallone, CEO, Barefoot College International and Founding Member – SAWIE

–          Nishi Vasudeva, Former CMD, HPCL and Founding Member – SAWIE

–          Michael Satin, Director, CLEEO, USAID/India

–          Vaishali Nigam Sinha, Chief CSR, Sustainability & Communications Officer, ReNew Power, Chairperson SAWIE

8:25-8:30 pm Concluding Remarks and Vote of Thanks

Monali Zeya Hazra, Regional Energy Manager, CLEEO, USAID/India

Event Organizer