The Global Compact Network Kenya in partnership with NSE, UN Women Kenya and International Finance Corporate (IFC) Africa joined over 100 stock exchanges globally to Ring the Bell for Gender Equality. This gesture was in commemoration of the International Women’s Day 2021.

The annual event aims to encourage the private sector to scale-up efforts to achieve gender equality in their markets by implementing the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs).

The event was graced by Prof. Margaret Kobia, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Public Service and Gender Affairs. She gave assurance of the Governments’ support towards gender equality. “In spite of the visible challenges at home and plausible ceilings at work, the government seeks to create opportunities for both women and men to develop to their full potential,” she said.

Speaking during the event, Mr. Geoffrey Odundo, NSE Chief Executive noted, “Of the listed companies in the NSE, 26% of them have women on the board with 43% of them in top management, some as CEOs. We know for certain that investors not only look at company financials, but they also look at governance in regard to inclusion, more so for women. Ladies have incredible self-initiative and drive, and this must be matched by companies being deliberate towards balancing their Boards.”

The event was in line with the UN Women’s theme for International Women’s Day 2021; Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world which celebrates the tremendous efforts by women and girls around the world in shaping a more equal future and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Reiterating the importance of gender parity, Ms. Judy Njino, Executive Director, Global Compact Network Kenya noted, “In this decade of action, we need businesses to be more intentional and ambitious for the realization of the economic value gender equality brings.”

During the event, United Bank of Africa (UBA) Kenya, signed its commitment to the WEPs, cementing their pledge to promote women career development and gender equality and inclusion.

The Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) has been empowering women by playing a leading role in advancing gender equality. “We have 9 men and 6 lady directors, as well as 3 men and 6 ladies in management.” said Ms. Carole Karuga, CEO, KEPSA.