BALANCE

EABL in drive for more ‘progressive’ gender depiction in advertising

According to a recent report by Kantar, majority of Kenyans are sceptical about the capacity of women to lead in the Government

In Summary
  • Kenya Breweries Managing Director Jane Karuku said the listed company is pursuing gender diversity from the top.
  • The progressive drive to counter gender diversity is part of the challenges identified in a recent study by Kantar.
Gender balance?
Gender balance?

East African Breweries Limited is looking to achieve 50:50 gender balance by 2025, one of its board members has said.

Kenya Breweries Managing Director Jane Karuku said whereas there is increased understanding and acknowledgement of gender issues in the region, businesses need to be decisively progressive if they expect to reap the benefits of a more balanced approach.

She said corporate organisations need to be deliberate about driving gender diversity in the workplace to nurture more progressive roles for women, an agenda for many companies and brands across Africa.

“Women are increasingly overcoming societal barriers, but we must continue having genuine conversations about everything we do at work, and other facets of our life, with greater boldness to challenging the status quo,” she said in an online panel.

Karuku, who also sits at the board of East African Breweries Limited (EABL), said the listed company is pursuing gender diversity from the top, with 37 percent of the company’s board members and 38 per cent of the Group’s executives comprising women, from an average of 20 per cent about a decade ago.

One of the biggest advertisers in East Africa, EABL is pioneering ways in which the marketing fraternity can show more “progressive” portrayals of people in their marketing communication.

Research shows that more industries are failing to show women in forward-looking roles in advertising.

“Brands that want to get gender right must start by being bold, by consciously considering gender issues and challenging the status quo ,”said Villiers-Tuthill, Global Brand Director for Guinness and Graham.

The progressive drive to counter gender diversity is part of the challenges identified in a recent study by Kantar, demonstrating that a majority of Kenyans are sceptical about the capacity of women to lead in the Government.

Kantar’s Reykjavík Index for Leadership shows that perceptions on leadership differ deeply: while 50 per cent of Kenyan women would be comfortable with a woman as head of government, only 30 per cent of men hold the same view.

Slightly more than half of women hold the same views about a woman leading a national company, while 42 percent of men would trust a woman in this role.