South Africa’s Eskom has been ranked the world’s sixth most gender-diverse power utility in the Ernst & Young’s Women in Power and Utilities Index 2016 ranking of the top 20 most gender-diverse power and utilities companies in the world.

“Eskom has been ranked as one of the world’s most gender-diverse power and utilities companies having invested in women’s advancement through mentorship and leadership development,” said the power utility on Thursday.

The ranking comes as South Africa celebrates the 60th anniversary of the Women’s March to the Union Buildings.

In addition, the list of the top 200 Power and Utilities companies with the most gender-diverse work forces in the Africa and Middle East region also placed Eskom at sixth place.

In a statement, the power utility said it had an employment equity plan aimed at advancing gender equality at senior, middle management and professional levels in order to increase the number of women in top managerial positions.

“We have set ourselves a target of 45.7 per cent of women representation at both middle and senior management level by 2020. Currently 36 per cent of Eskom’s professional and middle management are women and 30 per cent in senior management,” it said.

The gender equity programmes, including Eskom’s Women Advancement Programme (EWAP), fit into Eskom’s substantial transformation drive. The EWAP initiative was established in 2013 and seeks to make deliberate and considered interventions to advance and deploy women in Eskom.

The Eskom Women Advancement Programme aims to ensure a healthy pipeline of women, starting at high school level, and preparing them for a career at Eskom. Through this programme, Eskom has started to eliminate the stereotypes that hamper or retard women’s progress.