Top 10 Listed Kenyan Companies Ranked for Improving Gender Equality In The Workplace

Top 10 Kenyan companies ranked on gender equality

left: Diana van Maasdijk (Equileap CEO), Rachel Shebesh (Public Service CAS), Andia Chakava (Chairperson New Faces New Voices Kenya), Isis Nyong'o Madison (Media and technology entrepreneur) and Geoffrey Odundo (NSE Chief Executive Officer)

Top three listed companies are Standard Chartered Kenya, WPP Scangroup and Safaricom

Ten listed Kenyan companies at the Nairobi Securities Exchange have been ranked among global firms that have achieved higher returns  attributed to interventions that focus on gender equality, according to a study from Equileap.

Equileap, an organisation aiming to accelerate progress towards gender equality in the workplace, conducted the research using its comprehensive Gender Equality Scorecard©.

The survey on 61 companies listed on the NSE placed Kenya’s average score at 26%, comparable to Canadian companies at 27%.

“The best performing company in Kenya is Standard Chartered Bank Kenya, with a gender equality score of 63% while the top performing company globally this year is Diageo with a score of 74%,” Equileap chief executive Diana van Maasdijk said on  Wednesday.

Standard Chartered Kenya is the top-ranked company in Kenya, with a gender equality score of 63%. It would rank within the Top 50 companies globally, which scored 61% or above in Equileap’s 2019 Global Gender Equality Report published in October 2019.

● WPP Scangroup (63%,) ranked 2nd, is one of two companies that has gender balance at three out of four organisational levels – executive leadership, senior management, and total workforce. Gender balance on the board needs to be improved (11%).

● Barclays Bank of Kenya (61%,) ranked 4th, is the second company that has gender balance at three out of four levels – board, senior management and total workforce but can improve its gender balance on the executive (20%.)

● East African Breweries (44%,) ranked 10th and leads the way for parental leave, with the most generous programme of paid leave for primary and secondary carers (26 and four weeks respectively.)

Gender balance in leadership and workforce

● Women account for 23% of board members. The proportion of women on the board in Kenya continues to improve – it has slightly increased since 2017 and has (almost) doubled since 2012.

● Seven companies (12%) have a female CEO: BOC Kenya, British American Tobacco Kenya, DTB Kenya, Eveready East Africa, KenGen, Limuru Tea, and STANLIB Fahari I-REIT. In comparison, there are 7 female CEOs in the FTSE 100 companies (7%) and 33 female CEOs in Fortune 500 companies (7%.)

● No company achieves gender balance at all four levels: board, executive, senior management and workforce. Only three companies achieve gender balance at three of the four levels: Barclays Bank of Kenya, Stanbic Holdings, and WPP Scangroup.

Equal compensation & work life balance

● Just four companies offer employees flexibility in both hours and location – they are the Top 4 in our overall ranking – Standard Chartered Bank Kenya, WPP Scangroup, Safaricom, and Barclays Bank of Kenya.

● No Kenyan company published any information on differences in average salaries of male and female employees.

● No company published a strategy to address any pay gaps, compared to 12% of companies in our global dataset.

Policies promoting gender equality

● Three companies publish all eight of the workplace policies that we look for: WPP Scangroup, Safaricom and East African Breweries, respectively second, third and tenth in the ranking.

● Forty-two companies (70%) have an employee protection policy or whistleblower mechanism in place.

● Twenty-one companies (35%) publish an anti-sexual harassment policy. Though low, this figure is broadly in line with global averages (37% in 2018 and 42% in 2019.)

Corporate Social Responsibility Initiatives

● In total, twenty-two (37%) of the companies have one or more female-focused CSR programmes.

● The majority of the CSR programmes targeted women and girls in the community and are focused on education, representing respectively 78% and 63% of all programmes.

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