Global Compact Network Kenya recently hosted the Champions of Change: Tackling Biases and Backlash against Gender Equality discussion. This discussion event was held at the sidelines of the United Nations Global Compact Target Gender Equality Live event.

Convened during the 65th Commission on the Status of Women, the interactive event sought to inspire and engage business owners and other stakeholders to take action in advancing gender equality.

In her remarks, Catherine Musakali, Founder and Chair, Women on Boards Network Kenya, explained, “Setting the tone from the top is critical to driving action throughout the organization. It sends an important message to stakeholders, that advancing gender equality is a company priority with top-level support.”

During the session, Kariuki Ngari, Chief Executive Officer, Standard Chartered Bank Kenya noted, “It Is a must to achieve gender equality well ahead of the 257 years as currently estimated. It is not enough to just talk about gender equality without setting targets that your business wants to achieve. We call on all men to deliberately promote and include women in all spheres.”

Soraya Narfeldt, Chief Executive Officer, RA International, highlighted the importance of hiring the right men who not only think that gender equality is the right thing to do, but is good for business.

In her remarks, Alison Ngibuini, Chief Executive Officer, Al Is On Productions, emphasized the power of media to deconstruct stereotypes and spur behaviour change. “Al is On Productions has had the privilege to produce TV shows, for example Mali and Siri. This allowed us to go into unusual spaces and talk about topics such as sexual and reproductive health, which we are traditionally uncomfortable to talk about,” said Ms. Ngibuini.

Also at the event, Judy Njino, Executive Director Global Compact Network Kenya said, “Companies can demonstrate their commitment to getting more women in leadership positions by signing the Women Empowerment Principles, signaling their commitment to advance gender equality.”

In 2020, Kenya was the only country in Africa and one of 19 countries globally to launch the first round of the Target Gender Equality Program. The Kenya Network has announced that registration for Target Gender Equality Round 2 is now open.

This accelerator program calls for bold action to set and meet ambitious corporate targets for women’s representation and leadership in business.