The Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) on Wednesday, February 17 became the newest member of the 30% Club, a global movement accelerating progress towards gender balance at all levels of organizations.
NSE Chief Executive Geoffrey Odundo expressed confidence that the move would result in greater gender diversity in Boards and Senior Management of listed companies in Kenya, as well as other corporate organizations.
He signed an MoU alongside Zuhura Ogada, CEO of New Revenue Solutions Africa (NRSA) and Lead at the East Africa chapter of the 30% Club.
Ogada noted that not only were they committed to having more women in decision making roles in major companies, but also deepening gender balance in Medium, Small and Micro-sized enterprises (MSMEs).
She revealed that they had lined up conferences, mentorship programs and training workshops among other events as part of the program. In addition, Ogada disclosed that Kenya would host its first ever Gender Mainstreaming Awards towards the end of the year.
“We’re very excited about that today (Gender Mainstreaming Awards) today and indeed, we are rallying a lot of corporates to be able to take that in mind and see how they can grow their businesses to the next level,” Ogada added.
Odundo noted that a number of listed companies already had women in key positions.
He further observed that more women in corporate leadership were being trusted to make major decisions, a far cry from the past.
The Chief Executive described the traditional exclusion of women from positions of power in business as a ‘legacy’ issue that needed to be dealt with, voicing his appreciation for companies that were taking steps to change the narrative.
Among the listed companies led by women in Kenya are KenGen, whose CEO is Rebecca Miano and East African Breweries Limited (EABL) which appointed Jane Karuku as its new Group Managing Director in January.
Ogada noted that a number of companies had already taken up the challenge to deepen gender balance within their organizations.
“We’ve had various corporates, the likes of PwC and Standard Chartered that are already members (of the 30% club) and we’ve been doing a lot of events in country,” she stated.
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