RANKING

Women heading listed firms in Kenya above global average

Australia has the best gender equality score in the global corporate space at 46 per cent followed by France and Sweden at 42 and 41 per cent in that order.

In Summary
  • The rate of women in executive position stands at 22 per cent, exceeding the global average of 15 per cent
  • Kenya is the only country in Africa to be featured in the global survey, scoring a gender equality score of 26 per cent ahead of USA, Japan and Hong Kong
NSE chief executive Geoffrey Odundo signing the code of ethics for business in Kenya as KAM chief executive Phyllis Wakiaga watches at the NSE office in Nairobi Photo/Enos Teche.
NSE chief executive Geoffrey Odundo signing the code of ethics for business in Kenya as KAM chief executive Phyllis Wakiaga watches at the NSE office in Nairobi Photo/Enos Teche.

The number of women heading listed firms in Kenya has stagnated since 2017 but outpaced the global average.

According to the Gender Equality in the Workplace Report by the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE),Equileap and New Faces New Voices, 12 per cent of listed firms in Kenya are headed by women, compared to a global average of 5.8 per cent.

“The report shows that Kenyan listed companies are outperforming their global counterparts in certain areas, with more female CEOs than the FTSE 100 for instance,'' Equileap CEO Diana van Maasdijk said.

 
 
 

She however added that stronger female leadership and commitment to gender equality still needs to be accompanied by greater transparency in areas such as the gender pay gap, which currently goes undisclosed in Kenya

According to the survey, women account for 23 per cent of board members of listed companies. The proportion of women on the board in Kenya continues to improve – increasing slightly since 2017 and almost doubled since 2012.

The rate of women in executive position stands at 22 per cent, exceeding the global average of 15 per cent. Those in senior management and total workforce is also above the world's average.

Equileap ranks businesses based on 19 gender equality criteria, including gender balance across the workforce, the gender pay gap, paid parental leave and anti-sexual harassment policies.

Kenya is the only country in Africa to be featured in the global survey, scoring a gender equality score of 26 per cent ahead of USA, Japan and Hong Kong which 25, 21 and 20 per cent score respectively.

Australia has the best gender equality score in the global corporate space at 46 per cent followed by France and Sweden at 42 and 41 per cent in that order.

Although Kenya failed to hit 50 per cent gender score target for in many sector, it performed above global average in communication and financial sectors that have women work force of 34 and 31 per cent compared to world's 30 and 26 per cent.

 

It however trailed the world in fast consumer goods and industrial sectors.

Speaking at the event, Andia Chakava, chairperson, New Faces New Voices said the report is to help business leaders understand the diversity of their organisations and policymakers to better target gender-focused initiative.

NSE CEO Geoffrey Odundo said the gender equality will unlock trillions of dollars of currently unrealised economic value across the globe.

''The NSE is playing its part by continuously supporting research on gender equality issues such as this Equileap Report, which we believe will bring out real issues that need to be addressed to attain gender equality in our market,'' Odundo said.

The scorecard employs 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.