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Engendering Utilities: Developing a Business Case for Gender Equality





Influencing Gender Norms Workplace Gender Equality

Engendering Utilities: Developing a Business Case for Gender Equality

Engendering Utilities: Developing a Business Case for Gender Equality

The Engendering Utilities: Developing a Business Case for Gender Equality guide by USAID helps organisations develop a business case for gender equality to persuade senior leadership that equality is good for business.

The guide highlights studies demonstrating that when women serve as leaders and employees of companies in traditionally male-dominated industries, businesses benefit and company performance improves.

Despite these clear benefits, it can be difficult to convince managers and staff to hire more women, and women’s participation in the global workforce remains low. This guide supports the development of a business case for addressing gender equality, as a critical first step in developing a gender diversity strategy.


Your business case should:

  • Identify a business need or challenge, and explain how the organisation plans to address them. Ideally, the business case should address a specific pain point, such as loss of revenue, and links to the organisations strategic business objectives.
  • Describe the root causes of the business challenge, and articulate how gender equality can help solve the challenge.
  • Identify what specific actions or changes are needed.
  • Articulate expected outcomes, including the expected quantitative and qualitative results.
  • Include SMART targets that are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely.
  • Motivate organisational leadership and help drive change at the organisation. The business case should reflect an analysis and understanding of decision-makers’ interests.
  • As closely aligned with organisation’s gender equality business case, but flexible, ensuring it is tailored to what is motivating the organisation’s leaders and employees to actions (e.g. in some instances an organisation wants to be “first in class” or legally compliant with SDGs).
  • Identifies risks and limitations, including staffing and resource limitations, or a hiring freeze.
  • Is flexible and supported by data. The business case should articulate the need for monitoring, evaluation, and re-formulation over time.


  • Introduction
  • The Global Business Case for Gender Equality
  • Developing a Business Case for Gender Equality
  • Roadmap for Writing a Business Case
  • Business Case Examples
  • Making the Pitch to Senior Leadership
  • Evaluating Business Benefits Worksheet
  • Additional Resources

This guide was originally published on the USAID website.

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