Here’s how we are investing in ‘her’

With piped water right outside her house in Karugondo village, Eastern Province of Rwanda, Ms Donatha Uzamukunda does not need to carry a 20-litre jerrycan, spending eight hours in two trips, to Lake Cyohoha.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Women have made significant strides in different fields, including politics, literature, science, and the arts.
  • In these sectors, there have also been efforts to empower women and girls, and promote inclusion.

Yesterday, the world marked International Women's Day to celebrate the achievements of women in different fields, including politics, literature, science, and the arts.

In these sectors, there have been efforts to empower women and promote inclusion.

Different women leaders shared with Nation.Africa their strategies for achieving inclusion in their workplaces.

Annastacia Kimtai - Managing Director, KCB Kenya

We are committed to reaching and maintaining gender parity in our staff composition across all management levels with a 50:50 target.

This is why we launched the Women in Leadership Network to increase women’s representation across the group and equip them with the right skills and competencies.

We have equipped over 1,000 promising female professionals with leadership skills. In line with the sustainability agenda on diversity, we have achieved our target of having 50 per cent women in managerial positions.

Rizwana Peerbhoy - General Manager, Lions Sightfirst Eye Hospital

We strongly foster inclusivity. We have seen 60 per cent of women advance to leadership roles. We urge women to take up different roles so that they can broaden their abilities.

We empower them to speak up and be heard, and push them to perform their best. During our last annual awards event, two of three awards went to women.

We discourage stereotyping, and unintentional prejudice. We have a mothers’ room in the facility where nursing women can express and preserve milk for their children.

Dr Margaret Njenga - Chief Executive Officer, PS Kenya

Population Services Kenya's purpose statement is Better Health and Wellbeing for individuals like Sara, our entry point to society. Our solutions address her needs positively impacting society's development.

Focused on reproductive and maternal health, we promote social inclusion for girls and women, particularly in rural and hard-to-reach regions, and marginalised groups, including persons living with disabilities.

Maureen Sika - Head of Marketing, MultiChoice Kenya

I believe inclusion is a way of working. This is not just an initiative and cannot be achieved through policy alone. It starts with me and how my actions promote this culture within my team.

I work to enable my team to feel comfortable in expressing themselves as individuals and in their work. I keep an open mind on feedback and conversations with my team on how we can create and maintain a great work culture. It is an ongoing process.

Sally Chege - Director, Transactional Banking, NCBA Bank Kenya

We have designed programmes for majority women owned enterprises that enable access to loans with lower security requirements compared to other businesses.

Our sustainability agenda includes a commitment to ensuring 30 per cent of our vendors are women and youth. Additionally, NCBA human resourcing policy promotes equal opportunity for all, which has resulted in a 50 per cent female workforce.

Gwen Kinisu, CEO and MD, Prudential Kenya

This year's IWD theme closely aligns with our company’s purpose: For Every Life, For Every Future. We believe that diversity, equity, and inclusion are essential to our success.

Our goal is to empower our people and deepen belonging by respecting and appreciating differences. We do this by establishing consciously inclusive leadership at all levels, role modelled from the top and also embedding inclusive behaviours in our values.

Blandina Ijecha Bobson, Director of Programmes Oxfam Kenya

We are deliberate about conceptualising, designing and implementing programmes that address barriers of financial inclusion for women. This includes advocating investments in critical sectors like health, education and water to address time poverty that women experience because of care-related responsibilities, thereby freeing up their time to engage in economically productive activities.

Njeri Njomo, CEO and Principal Officer at Jubilee Health Insurance Limited

We are actively fostering inclusion and empowerment through a multifaceted approach.

Our Women's Wellness Programmes, such as the Moms Club and Lifestyle Management programmes, provide crucial support for women, addressing their holistic wellbeing.

To address the challenges faced by women entrepreneurs in accessing finance, we introduced CoverBora that ensures health protection without financial constraints.

The impactful Mommy Mingle event in December brought together over 200 women, showcasing our commitment to empowerment.