BD can report that the search for this year’s Top 40 Under 40 Women, was one of the most thrilling.
The campaign was better energised, the technology supporting online nomination worked without the glitches that have characterised past editions and the response was overwhelming—culminating to nearly 400 candidates.
Even more fulfilling was the fact that less than five per cent of the nominations were past laureates looking for a second stab at the listing.
Looking at the professional and social backgrounds of the 367 candidates, one does get the idea that all facets of the Kenyan society are alive and productive.
The freshness of the candidates and their outstanding contributions to the segments of the economy that make Kenya does inspire confidence in the fact that the country is on the path of progress despite the many challenges.
This year’s judges were meticulous, diligent and overly inquisitive as they undertook the task of picking the Top 40 women.
It did not help that BD had presented them with a list of 367 candidates from which only 40 were needed. The selection process was also informed by the recent social media outrage at the discovery that a past nominee had been busted as having serious integrity issues.
But still the selection process kept the spirit and the faith of the survey — resisting the temptation of making it merely an annual parade of the best known, most prominent or most influential young women in Kenya today. Freshness of a candidate in their area of operation was a big score for each candidate. Ingenuity, performance and durability were big winners for those in contention.
We have as is the tradition verified each candidate’s age (and dropped some in the last minute who proved difficult with it), interrogated information offered on the nomination forms as to the size or scope of the nominee’s achievements as well as assessed the competitive landscape of the segment of the economy in which these companies or businesses sit.
Women occupying senior positions in companies with a multinational reach scored higher marks than those in charge of national/local agencies.
In this list are also professionals such as lawyers, architects, and partners in accounting firms and doctors, included purely on the basis of the work they have done.
The Top 40 Under 40 project has also awarded high marks to women who have excelled in emerging sectors such as social enterprise. Enjoy.
Ochieng’ Rapuro, Managing Editor
Here is the full list of women who made it to Business Daily's 2015 ranks of Top 40 Under 40, arranged in descending order of age:
Sapna Chandaria, 39, Commercial Director at Mondeas Ltd
Muthoni Kanyana, 38, Head of Marketing, Imperial Bank
Elizabeth Gathai, 38, Director Credit at Equity Bank
Caroline Mugo, 38, Head of Finance, Bunge East Africa
Jane Okoth, 38, founder, Rapunzel Hair Affair salon
Joyce Ng’ang’a, 37, Partner, Coulsom Harney
Katherine Mung’au, 36, director, Beglin Woods Architects
Amelia Omollo, 36, Project manager 777 and 767 aircraft, Kenya Airways
Evelyn Watta, 35, interim Sec-General, International Sports Press Association
Diana Situma, 35, Partner Walker Kontos Advocates
Priya Budhabhatti, 35, Co-Founder/Human Resource Director, Craft Silicon Ltd
Susan Kabue-Gitahi, 35, Owner of Image 360 Designs
Catherine Karita, 34, Head of NIC Securities
Rachel Muthoga, 34, Executive Director, Moving the Goalposts Kilifi
Dr Shikoh Gitau-Nyaga, 34, Techpreneur, African Development Bank
Monica Kambo, 34, Managing Director, MEC Africa
Waithera Ng'ang'a, 34, CEO of Marketing Society of Kenya
Dr Lillian Osamong, 34, Chairman, Kenya Medical Research Institute
Sapna Shah, 34, Investment director, Novastar Ventures
Dr Kizzie Shako, 33, Senior Forensic Medical Officer, Kenya Police & University of Nairobi
Nelly Gatonye, 33, founder, Pearl of Hope
Catherine Gitonga, 33, CEO at Scars to Scars Foundation
Rose Ntong'ondu, 33, CEO/Founder of Make-up by Rose
Rose Kinuthia, 33, Director Product Dev & Strategy (Africa Subs), TransUnion
Diana Okello, 32, founder, My Dress, My Choice
Charlene Jadeya, 32, Group Risk Manager, Centum
Cecilia Mwangi, 31, cofounder Ahadi Kenya Trust
Janet Mbugua-Ndichu, 31, Senior TV Anchor, Citizen TV
Rachna Patel, 31, Solar Kiosk
Sitawa Wafula, 30, Founding Executive Director of My Mind, My Funk
Judith Mwangi (Avril), 29, Musician
Linda Kamau, 29, Senior software developer, Ushahidi and Akirachix
Hilda Moraa, 26, Country Head, Enterprise Liquidity Solutions AFB
Helen Njoroge, 26, founder, Tenderskenya.com
Elizabeth Marami, 26, Marine Pilot, Kenya Ports Authority
Peggy Mativo, 26, founder of PACE Kenya
Jacqueline Kamau, 24, Aerospace Project Engineer, Denis Ferranti Meters Ltd
Patricia Andago, 23, founder of pendotalk.co.ke
Wangechi Mwangi, 22, CEO of Valuraha Group
June Syowia, 20, social entrepreneur, Mustard Seed Organisation