NSE to support gender equality

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By Obrien Kimani/Christine Muchira

KBC Radio_KICD Timetable

Listed companies will now be required to outline their strategies to adopt women in management and directorship positions.

This is one of the requirements set out by the Capital Markets Authority in a bid to ensure gender equality in corporate Kenya.

Capital Markets Authority chief executive Paul Muthaura says out of the 65 listed companies, only three are led by women.

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When it comes to boardroom affairs men dominate the decision making process.

Out of ten boardroom positions in Kenya nine are held by men making many institutions heavily imbalanced.

The situation is not different in the whole world where women make up a small percentage of leadership positions in the corporate world at less than 10 percent according to consulting group McKinsey.

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‘Ring the Bell for Gender Equality’

In Africa, Kenya leads the continent in the number of women in boardroom positions mainly due to affirmative action in the public sector with 12.5 percent of all boardroom positions held by women.

Nairobi Securities Exchange has joined 43 other Stock Exchanges globally to ‘Ring the Bell for Gender Equality’ commemorating the International Women’s Day (March 8) to raise awareness on the importance of Gender Equality in the Capital Markets.

To ensure more inclusivity in listed firms the Capital Markets Authority has outlined various measures to ensure more women are recruited into boardroom and managerial positions in corporate Kenya.

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Speaking during the event, NSE Vice Chairman Mr.  Bob Karina noted, The  Exchange  is committed to improving the number of women represented on the boards of listed companies and  we  are  hopeful  that  the  numbers  will  increase  to  at  least  a  third  female  board representation in  all  listed  companies  by  2020.  Listed companies must adhere to better corporate governance practices for the benefit of the investors, organizations and the economy at large.”

Judy  Njino,  the  Country  Coordinator  of  Global Compact  Kenya  stated, “Gender  equality  is essential for advancing the Sustainable Development Goals, and the private sector must play its role by providing equal opportunities for women throughout their operations and value chains. Stock exchanges can have an enormous impact by encouraging gender diversity within listed companies  and  ensuring  accessibility  of  capital  market  services  to  women-owned  businesses and female entrepreneurs.”

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To achieve a higher women representation in leadership positions the United Nations is encouraging more companies to recruit more women in their boardrooms.

The UN seeks to achieve a 50 percent gender balance by the year 2030 in managerial and directorship positions in the work environment.

In September 2015, the SSE published an SDG briefing document  in  advance  of  its  SDG  Leaders’  Luncheon  at  the  New  York  Stock  Exchange  (NYSE) which  identified  Goal  5, Gender  Equality,  as  one  of  four  goals  stock  exchanges  are  best positioned to support.

 

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