Special Reports

Top 40 Under 40 Women 2018: How They Were Picked


Tempus fugit!!! Time does fly indeed.

For it is unbelievable that 10 years have passed since we published the inaugural edition of Top 40 Under 40 Women. This was one year following the March 2007 launch of Business Daily as Kenya’s premier daily business paper.

Over these 10 odd years, we have seen the real workings of an inspiring initiative. We have indeed seen the magic that shining the light on young and progressive women— in whatever segment of the economy —can do.

From those who had shown the promise of excellence in the field of corporate leadership, professional service to enterprise, sports, and the arts, the Top 40 Under 40 Women roll of honour has proven recognising and making effort and excellence visible is a great tool for inspiration.

Hundreds of the women who made it to this roll of honour in the earlier years have gone ahead to deliver the real mantra of the Top 40 Under 40 recognition —that they were indeed THE WOMEN TO WATCH!!!

This year as in the past, the Top 40 Under 40 Women awards received hundreds of nominations from which the judges had to pick the 40. The competition was no less intense than the years before.

And if there is one thing that the entries demonstrated, it was that the difficult political and economic terrain that has characterised the country in the past couple of years has not prevented brilliant and ambitious women out there from showing what they are made of.

In other words there has been excellence and mobility despite these difficulties. After all, isn’t fire the best way to test gold?!!!

As in the past, this year’s TOP 40 finalists were picked on the basis of well-known parameters we have only come to sharpen and perfect over the years. So in this list are entrepreneurs, corporate high-fliers, law, finance and medical professionals, academics and researchers, techies, sportswomen, and philanthropists.

In picking this year’s TOP 40 women, the Business Daily has stayed with the goal of making it more than a list of the best known, most prominent or most influential women in Kenya. We have instead underpinned our choices on the candidates’ ingenuity, freshness, performance and durability in their fields of excellence.

We have then ascertained each candidate’s age, and interrogated as far as possible, data on the size of the enterprises they have founded, companies they work for (turnover or number of employees), the scope and complexity of what they do and the competitive landscape in each segment of the economy.

Women running or occupying senior positions in companies with a multi-national reach still scored higher marks than those in charge of national/local agencies.

The Top 40 Under 40 list has also awarded high marks to women who have excelled in professions that have been and remain male dominated such as software engineering, actuarial science, aviation and engineering. This is because we believe there should be no gender-based glass ceiling on any dreams.

Ochieng’ Rapuro, Editor