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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

United Nations roots for gender parity in Kenya’s corporates 

By Ronald Njoroge NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- A UN official called for greater participation of women in senior management positions in Kenya’s corporates in order to promote inclusive growth.

Arjmand Banu Khan, UN Women’s Programme Specialist for Women Economic Empowerment programme, told journalists in Nairobi that the low participation of women poses a challenge to the country’s development efforts.

“Studies globally have indicated that firms that have gender parity tend to perform better compared to their peers that don’t have strong representation of women in senior positions,” Khan said during a forum to raise awareness on the importance of Gender Equality to the Capital Markets.

Khan noted that Kenya has made tremendous strides in the appointment of women to boards of state owned enterprises. “However, the private sector is still lagging behind in gender parity,” she added.

The UN official said that there is need to identify the gaps that exist that led to low participation of women in senior positions in corporates.

According to Khan, the amount of men and women who join corporate annually is almost similar. “However men tend to rise the corporate ladder much faster as compared to women,” she said.

According to UN Women, women face challenges in the workplace such as the need to balance family life and careers.

Khan said that due to family commitment, women have a higher exit rate at their workplace as compared to their male counterparts.

She said that having women in senior positions helps the firm as they tend to be more consultative before making critical decisions.

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