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State firms lead in hiring women in boardrooms

State corporations are performing better in appointing women at the board level than private enterprises, a report by the Institute of Directors released yesterday reveals.

The report reveals about 26 per cent of women currently serve on the boards of professional associations, 15 per cent in insurance companies boards and micro-finance institutions 26 per cent. However, only 15 per cent women serve as chairpersons in State-owned firms.

“Low representation of women on boards has long been attributed to gender differences, work life balance and board nomination processes,” the report says. The institute intends to support and lobby for the achievement of constitutional requirement of gender equality in all elective and appointive positions.

“We have a database of qualified women with good professional standing who have been trained in corporate governance that can serve as directors in boards and public offices,” said John Luusa, the institute’s chairman.

“We are prepared to facilitate this process by sharing our data base with the Government the qualified women who are trained in corporate Governors and has professional standings,” he said.

International Finance Corporation Head of Corporate Governance Programme in Africa Chinyere Almona said research done in the past indicates that boards with adequate women representation score high on innovation and creativity compared with those headed by men.

“Women’s varied experiences often bring a different voice to the organisation. The key benefit of including women in decision making is heightened innovation,” he said.

Former KCA University vice chancellor Prof Daniel Oruoch said the presence of women at the board level increases performances of organisations by 40 per cent. “Institutions that have women in their management and boards improve their output by nearly 40 per cent,” he said.

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