The Women Corporate Directors’ (WCD)-Kenya Chapter has embarked on an initiative to increase the numbers of women on various boards in the country.
The initiative will see WCD-Kenya engage local and international corporates to secure the placement of qualified Kenyan women on the various boards.
WCD-Kenya chairperson Rose Mambo said the organisation is establishing a database of all qualified women who will be linked for board positions locally and internationally when opportunities arise.
“As an organisation we seek to place as many women as possible on boards who can serve diligently. We will also support them to upskill their skills to enable them to offer good governance and leadership,” she said during the organisation’s gala dinner last Thursday.
Ms Mambo tipped women to have champions on the boards they are serving to help them put their point across in instances where it is hard to do so.
Eastern African Breweries Limited Group managing director and CEO Jane Karuku advised women to create their own space and be competent in what they do to make them attractive for senior corporate appointments.
She urged women to become persons of power and influence in their fields.
Ms Karuku called on women to surround themselves with people who will build their confidence and help them grow.
“In the world of corporate, women are not just women but they are also leaders and need to be treated as such. I advise them to drop things that will bring you down, be it a relationship or mental. Always avoid taking things personal as it will bring you down,” she said.
The founding WCD-Kenya chairperson, Dr Herta Van Stiegel, appealed to the women to go for the top board positions.
“We currently have very few women heading boards in the country. I am challenging the women here and beyond to fight to become board chairs and CEOs of their companies. Let us not only settle for board member positions,” she said.
Geoffrey Odundo, chief executive at Nairobi Security Exchange, said Kenya is leading in the number of women on boards edging out some of the countries in the developed world.
He urged women to apply for directorship and other senior management positions in the companies whenever they are advertised. “Transformation of the corporate world is taking place and we are having women having their place cutting across boards and senior management positions,” said Mr Odundo.
According to the 2021 Board Diversity and Inclusion Survey Report released last week in Nairobi, Kenya’s gender diversity in the boardroom now stands at 36 percent, significant progress from 21 percent in 2017.
A report released in October showed Kenya has outperformed the global average of female board directors after witnessing significant progress in board diversity and inclusion in the last nine years.
Currently, the global average of women holding board positions stands at 23.3 percent up from 20.4 percent in 2018.
The report undertaken by the Kenya Institute of Management in partnership with the NSE), New Faces New Voices and the Kenya Private Sector Alliance indicated women constitute 21 percent of the appointed board chairperson’s whereas the global average is three percent.