It will take between 10 and 12 years to achieve a gender parity of 50-50 on boards of companies if women continue to join at the current rate, according to the findings of a new study.
It found that while it may seem Kenya is leading the pack globally in presence of women in board chair positions, the country is far from attaining gender parity in the same area.
A joint report by Kenya Institute of Management (KIM), Nairobi Securities Exchange, Barclays Bank and New Faces New Voices, indicates that the gender parity situation has improved dismally in the last five years.
Highest number Kenya tops on the list of countries with the highest number of women leading public corporate companies at 7.7 per cent, beating the likes of United States and Canada and Asia at 4.2 per cent and 1.5 per cent respectively.
The study, which analysed 52 public quoted companies, found that the male gender was still leading these companies in chairperson positions outnumbering women 11 to one in Kenya’s corporate boardrooms.
Capital Markets Authority CEO Paul Muthaura, attributed the trend partly to the unreasonable age bracket of females entering boardrooms and urged more women to take up positions on boards.
The 2017 KIM Board Diversity and Inclusion Report, also found that sectors such as agriculture, media and tourism had lowest female representation at nine per cent and eight per cent respectively compared to telecommunications industry, retail and publishing sectors which have a good number of females represented on their boards.
It which recommends deliberate campaigns and clear legislation to include women on boards and identifies structural and cultural barriers as some of the challenges holding back such advances.