Næringsutvikling i sør
The 16 graduates have completed the Kenyan version of the Female Future program which was first developed by NHO. Female Future aims to prepare and educate women who want to take on higher management, and board positions within companies. Together, NHO and its Kenyan sister organization Federation of Kenya Employers (FKE), have adapted the program to fit in the Kenyan context. The program is the first of its kind in Kenya, and has become very popular among potential candidates and companies, this was also reflected in the well-attended graduation ceremony.
The chief guest and keynote speaker, Ms. Lucy Mbugwa, the Managing Director of the Kenya Airports Authority had valuable advice to women who are aspiring to be managers. Women were challenged to strive to do their best in order to prove that they can. She challenged businesses to include women in decision making processes as they are a force to be reckoned with when it comes to shaping Kenya's future.
The Kenya government initiative, Vision 2030 which through the constitution aims at involving women more in issues of governance and in politics in Kenya was referred to many times during the conference. Mr Gituro Wainana who is the government representative working with Vision 2030, encouraged FKE to continue working with initiatives in order to help women to take their place in the negotiation table.
The Norwegian embassy in Kenya was represented by the deputy head of mission Ms Hilde Solbakken. In her remarks, Ms Solbakken touched on the Norwegian experiences regarding the road to inclusion of women in decision processes. She noted that the involvement of government and other social stakeholders had played a key role in the achievement of the efforts to include women in Norway. She informed the audience that it was not oil that made Norway to be a wealthy country, but ensuring the participation of all citizens in creating value for the country both men and women. She congratulated the candidates and challenged them to take the leadership roles and inspire change in Kenya.
There is increasing recognition among Kenyan companies that a gender balanced top-management can have positive impact on the company. One example of this is the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) which is the regulatory body for the Kenyan stock exchange (among others). The chairman of CMA, Mr. Kung'u Gatabaki attended the ceremony, and informed participants that the CMA has proposed an amendment in CMA regulations that requires listed companies to have opposite genders as chairman and CEO. Mr Gatabaki argued that women play critical roles in boards and their presence helps to boost investor confidence. Currently, the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) board has five female directors out of a team of 10.