WOMEN CEOS

Karuku, Miano, Devji named among top African woman CEOs

Karuku has been instrumental in driving innovations in the business.

In Summary

• She is part of the 50 African women who qualified from an initial list of a total of 526 women who run 355 companies.

• Africa.com undertook a rigorous, data-driven research project that identified not just high-profile personalities, but the women who run the largest, most complex businesses on the African continent.

Group Managing Director EABL, Jane Karuku.
Group Managing Director EABL, Jane Karuku.
Image: FILE

East African Breweries Ltd Group MD and CEO, Jane Karuku, has been enlisted in The Africa.com Definitive List of Women CEOs, unveiled during The Definitive List Summit held on 13th October, 2021.

She is part of the 50 African women who qualified from an initial list of a total of 526 women who run 355 companies.

This is either CEO of publicly listed African corporations, division heads of publicly listed African corporations, or the Africa-region heads or Africa country heads of global corporations.

Other Kenyan women CEOs named in the list are KenGen CEO, Rebecca Miano and Diamond Trust Bank (DTB) Group CEO, Naseem Devji.

Africa.com undertook a rigorous, data-driven research project that identified not just high-profile personalities, but the women who run the largest, most complex businesses on the African continent.

This included reviewing all publicly listed companies on all of the twenty-one stock exchanges in Africa – a list of over 1400 companies.

Karuku is amongst the most senior women leaders in East Africa, steering East and Central Africa’s largest alcohol beverage business to greater heights.

At the helm of the EABL business, she has been instrumental in driving innovations in the business.

Karuku said that the women in the Definitive list today indeed show that Africa has made great progress in gender inclusion in the corporate space.

"I hope that we get to inspire young women all over the continent to arise, step forward and go for their dreams, whatever they may be. At East African Breweries PLC, we are passionate about mainstreaming inclusion and diversity both at the workplace and in our communities.

"We have put in place necessary policies and programs and have set ambitious targets towards having women making up 50% of our workforce and leaders by 2030," Karuku remarked.

In addition to revealing the names on The Africa.com Definitive List of Women CEOs, Africa.com has provided observations and trends that emerged from the research project, including key enablers that must be put in place to empower women towards successful careers.

MBA professor at Harvard Business School, Anthony Mayo, said that part of success is choosing the right employer.

"Research by Harvard Business School shows that the company that a black woman works plays a very important role in determining the course and trajectory of her career,” Mayo said.

This observation was agreed on unanimously by the African women CEOs who shared their journeys after the revealing of the Definitive List.

Karuku said her journey and success started back in my 20s,"when my boss believed in me and put me in charge of a big team of men in the factory." 

"I have also greatly benefitted from working with an organization that is deliberate about attracting, retaining and developing the most diverse talent as we believe that every unique individual brings a unique talent that we can leverage on as a business.

"At EABL, inclusion and diversity is one of our must-dos and we have set ambitious goals in our ten-years’ action plan, the 2030 Sustainability Strategy,” Karuku said.