, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 3 – State-owned enterprises top in women representation in boards, according to a report by the Institute of Directors (IOD).
The survey carried out in 2014 indicates that there were 13 women chairpersons out of 84 sampled State corporations, with 230 women directors out of a total 874.
On the other hand, there was no woman chairperson among insurance companies with only 23 directors out of 153.
Banks had only one woman chairperson out of 44 sampled banks, with 12 percent representation of women directors or 40 out of 347 total board members.
Apart from State-owned enterprises, the survey was carried out in listed firms, Deposit Taking Micro finance Institutions and professional associations.
“In terms of women chairpersons, professionals associations 6 percent, insurance companies had none, deposit taking micro finance institutions had 11 percent, banks 2 percent, public listed companies had 8 percent and State-owned enterprises had 15 percent,” said Jessie Mutura, the chair of the institute’s taskforce.
The reports indicates that despite a slight increase compared to the 2012 report, there is still very slow uptake of women on boards in the country.
One of the major reasons for this is the history and tradition which “has been largely patriarchal in nature and has note encouraged women to take up positions of leadership.”
Other hindrances according to the report included family life and work balance as well as the tendency of companies to view men stronger than women.
“Women are slowly coming up and all we need is someone to recognize that they are capable of good perform just like their counterpart,” Mutura said.
Some of the recommendations by the report is to ensure compliance of constitutional requirements of two thirds gender rule as well to grow data base of qualified women trained in corporate governance.
The Institute of Directors was established 2005 represent directors and to advocate their interests.