Women who hold top positions at NSE listed companies in the form of CEOs/MDs or Board Chairs. www.businesstoday.co.ke
Women who hold top positions at NSE listed companies in the form of CEOs/MDs or Board Chairs. [Photo collage/Mike Njoroge]

How do firms listed at the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) rank as regards gender equality in the workplace?

The answer to this question will soon be substantive, following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Nairobi bourse and two organisations in a quest to research and evaluate Kenyan listed companies’ performance on gender equality in the workplace.

NSE, together with data and insights firm Equileap and pan-African non-profit organisation New Faces New Voices (NFNV) will undertake this venture that will result in a report assessing gender equality among listed firms.

“The research will culminate in a report and will place special focus on presenting Kenyan listed companies’ performance on gender equality using a unique methodology referred to as the Gender Equality Scorecard,” the NSE said in a statement.

Developed by Equileap, a data and insights firm that focuses on gender equality, the scorecard will use metrics such as gender balance in the workforce, senior management and boards, publication of gender pay gap, provision of parental leave by the company, anti-sexual harassment policy and supplier diversity policy.

“The research will make Kenyan listed companies the first in Africa to be featured in Equileap’ s publications and will play a fundamental role in informing regional and global markets of the advances made so far on gender equality in the workplace,” the Nairobi bourse said.

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Currently, NSE listed firms have some women in senior positions within the company, even as the gender debate wave continues to sweep across business.

Benefits of Gender Equality in the Workplace Kenya

NSE chief executive Geoffrey Odundo said the bourse was keen on enhancing gender equality among listed companies in order to enhance decision making and improve organizational performance.

Gender equality, Odundo said, also supports a company’s ability to attract and retain talent.

“The research will offer an opportunity for listed companies to profile their initiatives across gender equality as well as provide insights on leveraging gender based initiatives as functional investment strategies,” he added.

Diana van Maasdijk, CEO at Equileap, said “It is imperative to accelerate progress towards gender equality in the workplace around the world, including in Kenya. You cannot change what you cannot measure- that is why this research will set the first step in highlighting how Kenyan listed companies
perform on topics such as gender balance, parental leave, sexual harassment and the pay gap.”

The Equileap CEO added that the report aims to present how women are treated in publicly listed companies in Kenya, not only to women’s organisations but also to policy makers, local civil society organisations and investors.

New Faces New Faces Kenya Chairperson Andia Chakava said that Kenya is leading in Africa amongst representation of women in listed companies. “However there is still more to be done as far as other key metrics such as composition of women in senior management positions, procurement from women entrepreneurs, facility management to cater for breastfeeding and crèche as well as customised products and services designated for the female segment.”

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About the Author

Mike Njoroge is the founder of Daystar Oracle and FootballTriangle. He is passionate about news, religion and sports. He can be reached at: [email protected]

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