Oorja Development Solutions


Oorja gender inclusion and equity module. This module suggests changes to business practices and includes outreach materials to make positions more valuable and attractive to both male and female applicants. Additionally, it contains a guide for conducting gender training to familiarize Oorja’s staff with the varying needs of men and women.

Analysis of current company practices and principles that pinpoint vulnerabilities within the company in terms of gender inequality and makes recommendations for how Oorja must pivot to meet the needs of women in the communities it serves.

Culturally competent human resource guide. This guide presents high-level feedback for the implementation of human resource materials to improve transparency among employees, encourage female leadership, and improve company-wide communication.


Productive Power for Last-Mile Rural Markets.


As Oorja begins to scale their enterprise there is not adequate female representation both within their employee base and by beneficiaries to scale effectively.

Research Activities

Oorja Development Solutions (Oorja) enhances the accessibility of renewable energy sources for rural farming communities in India so they can access irrigation, cooling, and agro-processing technologies. Oorja now hopes to expand its impact by increasing its number of female beneficiaries by 20%, hiring more women, and facilitating gender inclusion throughout the organization. To help Oorja achieve these gender equity-focused ambitions, we interviewed ten women and ten men about their experiences with Oorja’s technology. Informed by these stories, we then interviewed eleven Oorja employees to understand the gender dynamics within the company and the effectiveness of its current policies. All of these interviews diagnosed the cultural obstacles Oorja must navigate, allowing us to determine how the company can attract more female applicants, adhere to the needs of female beneficiaries, and comprehensively promote gender equity within the workplace.

Key Findings

  1. Female farmers are critical to Indian agriculture. Many men travel into urban centers for employment, leaving, women to operate family farms, even though they do not have full economic agency in their households
  2. Effective gender inclusion strategies extend to job descriptions and recruitment of staff.  Partial strategies for gender inclusion are unlikely to produce results. Oorja can make progress on its gender inclusion goals by reimagining how to attract and retain women on its team, and thus better reach female customers.
  3. Protocols for gender inclusion are imperative to equity. By understanding the unique needs of men and women, Oorja can implement practices that ensure the safety of employees and empower them within the workplace.



Social Enterprise:
Oorja Development Solutions


Cate Ralph
Economics and Political Science

Emma Sand