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Women in Kenya’s boardrooms rise to 36% against 21% globally

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Women sitting on the Boardrooms of various companies in Kenya now stand at 36%, a joint report by the Kenya Institute of Management(KIM), New Faces New Voices(NFNV) and Kenya Private Sector Alliance has revealed. This is compared to a global average of 21%.

The 2021 Board Diversity and Inclusion Survey also shows that women constitute 21% of the appointed board chairperson’s appointments whereas the global average is 3.0%.

Women representation in C-suite roles in Kenya constitutes 37% compared to 21% globally.

Dr Muriithi Ndegwa CEO, KIM said the institute recognizes that diversity and inclusion are essential components of a Company’s leadership and governance.

This report examined the impact of diversity and inclusion on organisational performance, decision-making, and productivity in the boardroom.

The study sought to explore diversity beyond gender and age, and included other variables such as education attained, professional background, national origin, ethnicity, and religion.

The aim was to provide insights into best practices to drive parity by 2030, as enshrined in the Social Pillar of the Vision 2030 Blueprint.

The report was released during a launch event organized in Nairobi which brought together senior executives of listed companies, government officials and non–government officials keen on enhancing gender equality in Kenya.

Professor Margaret Kobia, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Public Service, Gender, Senior Citizens Affairs & Special Programmes, who was the chief guest, said that at a minimum, future sustainability and financial success demand representation, equity, and inclusion.

Dr Muriithi Ndegwa CEO, KIM, explained, “We recognize that diversity and inclusion are essential components of a Company’s leadership and governance. As champions of best practice in governance and management, KIM has made substantial progress over the years; and now we are intensifying our efforts to create a more inclusive, diverse, and supportive community.”
Geoffrey Odundo, Chief Executive, NSE said diversity in the corporate world is a true developmental issue that needs to be addressed and embraced in Kenya.

“Tackling gender equality will unlock billions of shillings which is currently unrealized economic value in our country,” said Odundo

In her comments, Eva Muraya- KEPSA Gender and SMEs Director said that the results of this study, undertaken to realize the shared value in the potential of our organizations, will go a long way in strengthening the evidence-base to inform scale-up, and progressively boost the ambition for the attainment of optimal diversity and inclusion in both public and private institutions.

Makena Mworia, Interim Chair, NFNV said that as a Pan-African network that advocates for gender equality and raising the visibility and influence of women, NFNV remains steadfast in championing diversity, equity and inclusion in the boardroom and the workplace.

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