• CEO Jacqueline Mugo said this is a difficult terrain for women even though there are still some women who are taking the center stage.
• She noted that Kenya and the world at large is still far from reaching the desired goal on gender parity.
Women are still hesitant at playing senior roles, the Federation of Kenya Employers has said.
This involves participating in activities such as managing people, travelling and even managing politics.
FKE CEO and executive director Jacqueline Mugo said this is a difficult terrain for women even though there are still some women who are taking the center stage.
She noted that Kenya and the world at large is still far from reaching the desired goal on gender parity.
“There are a lot of factors like cultural and even historical issues that are even limiting women from moving up the corporate ladder,” Mugo said.
“Even in Parliament, we have been trying to pass the gender rule but it is yet to pass. This goes to show that through the point of view of society, we are still not yet there.”
Mugo spoke in Nairobi during the graduation ceremony of 53 women from the private and public sectors from the Female Future Leadership Programme last weekend.
This was an increase from last year’s 46 women who graduated from the programme.
The event was a culmination of the 16th and 17th graduations since the inception of the FFLP in 2013 by FKE.
The federation was also celebrating its 10th year anniversary since the programme was launched.
The programme is aimed at promoting gender equality in the workplace by catapulting more female professionals into senior executive positions and boardrooms.
It seeks to build capacity of women to take on leadership roles primarily in the corporate world as well as other spheres of life.
Mugo said the amazing thing they have noted is that local companies have committed to using the programme as an avenue of training women consistently.
“We have seen companies coming back to us and giving positive feedback and even nominating more women,” she said.
“This is a sign that the initiative is working.”
Mugo further urged the graduates to be more resilient stating that each one of them walked a different path to get to where they are today.
“Resilience means you grow stronger as life changes. At its core, resilience is a mindset made up of a range of attitudes and behaviours. The specifics are different for each woman,” she said.
Since its inception, FFLP has successfully empowered 343 women with knowledge and skills in organisation and management, leadership at the apex and implementation of growth strategies.
Last year, the programme saw a 35 per cent board transition, with a majority of the ladies participating in the programme moving from mid to top-level management positions.
On her part, FKE board member Gilda Odera reiterated on the need for more work to be done so that there is a proper representation of women.
She, however, noted that Kenya has made a significant progress in promoting women’s leadership in recent years.
“We have increased the representation of women in Parliament, Cabinet and Judiciary,” Odera said.
“We have also made it easier for women to start their own businesses and access credit. We need to continue to break down barriers and create opportunities for women to lead at all levels of society.”
AAR healthcare head of clinic business operations Susan Mburu expressed excitement at being promoted to her current position through her participation in the programme.
"I have learnt to be a great leader for my team as well as paving the way for women who will come after me to grow,” she said.
AAR healthcare financial controller Catherine Matheka added that the programme has turned her into a better leader.
“I really enjoyed the theory class because we learnt how to express ourselves better and even relate the future to the now. I recommend this programme to every single lady out there. I'm happy,” she said.