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.