Diana van Maasdijk (Equileap CEO), Rachel Shebesh (Public Service CAS), Andia Chakava (Chairperson New Faces New Voices Kenya), Isis Nyong'o Madison (Media and technology entrepreneur) and Geoffrey Odundo (NSE Chief Executive Officer) during the launch of the Gender Equality Report. www.businesstoday.co.ke
From Left: Diana van Maasdijk (Equileap CEO), Rachel Shebesh (Public Service CAS), Andia Chakava (Chairperson New Faces New Voices Kenya), Isis Nyong'o Madison (Media and technology entrepreneur) and Geoffrey Odundo (NSE Chief Executive Officer) during the launch of the Gender Equality Report. Photo/ Business Today

If employers in Kenya were to be ranked by women, these 10 companies would fit the tall, dark and handsome description bill.

When choosing an employer, women look for more than just pay and brand which makes it a bit smaller pool to get a job from.

well, globally, Australia has the best gender equality score in the globe but what most people do not know is that Kenya is not badly off when it comes to gender equity in the workplace.

According to a report by the Nairobi Securities Exchange in collaboration with Equileap, Kenya has a gender equality score of 26% which is comparable to Canada’s 27%. Kenya has also managed to record a higher gender equality score than Japan (21%) and Hong Kong (20%).

The survey was done on 61 Kenyan companies which are listed on the Nairobi Security Exchange (NSE).

In the report released on Wednesday, Standard Chartered was found to be the best performing company in gender equality with a score of 63%. Standard Chartered was only 11 points short of leading globally in gender equality.

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The report also revealed that companies that score high in gender equality are the ones that offer employees flexibility in both hours and location. The top four ranked companies in the country ( Standard Chartered Bank Kenya, WPP Scan group, Safaricom, and Barclays Bank of Kenya) were found to offer flexibility to their employees.

Paternity and Maternity leaves were also factors Equileap considered when doing the report. East African Breweries was ranked the best company providing for primary-carer leave. The company gives 6 months for maternity leave and a month for paternity leave.

Four other companies that ranked high in this category were Standard Chartered Kenya (20 weeks), British American Tobacco Kenya (16), Limuru Tea (16), and Safaricom (16).

Female CEOs

The report revealed that different companies excel at different levels of each company. Seven companies (12%) have a female CEO. These companies include BOC Kenya, British American Tobacco Kenya, DTB Kenya, Eveready East Africa, KenGen, Limuru Tea, and STANLIB Fahari I-REIT.

Twelve companies (20%) have a female CFO, 5 of which are in the financial sector. Three companies (5%) have a female chair. The companies Eveready East Africa, STANLIB Fahari I-REIT and Unga Group.

However, the report found that no company has achieved gender balance at all four levels: board, executive senior management, and workforce.

Only three companies achieve gender balance at three of the four levels: Barclays Bank of Kenya, Stanbic Holdings, and WPP Scangroup. Notably, no company has gender balance for both its board and executive team

Gender Equality Policies

The report revealed that only three companies publish all eight of the workplace policies Equileap was looking for. The companies include WPP Scan group, Safaricom and East African Breweries, respectively second, third and tenth in the ranking.

42 companies (70%) have an employee protection policy or whistleblower mechanism in place. 21 companies (35%) publish an anti-sexual harassment policy. Though low, this figure is broadly in line with global averages (37% in 2018 and 42% in 2019.)

Generally, Kenya ranks higher than global averages in different sectors of companies’ gender equality.

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About the Author

Kevin Namunwa is a senior reporter for Business Today. Email at [email protected]

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