Companies

NSE joins global push for more women on boards

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Nairobi Securities Exchange trading floor. PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) has joined a global club seek companies to increase the share of women in boards and top management by at least a third.
  • The NSE is now be part of the 30percent club, a global campaign led by chairs and CEOs vowing to increase gender diversity at board and senior management levels.
  • The firm that runs the Nairobi bourse will seek to increase its female directors to five from the current three on its 11-member board over the next year.

Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) has joined a global club seek companies to increase the share of women in boards and top management by at least a third.

The NSE is now be part of the 30percent club, a global campaign led by chairs and CEOs vowing to increase gender diversity at board and senior management levels.

The firm that runs the Nairobi bourse will seek to increase its female directors to five from the current three on its 11-member board over the next year.

“We are delighted to join the club as we push for gender equality and inclusion in boards and senior management. We have seen a very close correlation between good performance of share price and performance of the company. The women have been able to take on issues of risks, controls and challenging responsibilities,” NSE CEO Geoffrey Odundo said.

“We encourage our listed companies to embrace it for the desirable results.”

A report by Equileap and NSE on gender equality in the workplace show women accounted for 23 percent of board members, a slight improvement from 21 percent from 18 percent in 2015 and 12 per cent in 2012.

Multinationals continue to fare better than indigenous companies in gender equality like StanChart Kenya, WPP Scangroup and Absa Bank, with Safaricom joining the list.

The capital market laws do not state that companies should a point a minimum number of women, but Mr Odundo said the current appointment has been pushed by corporate integrity reporting.

“Some companies have been doing it deliberately. It was difficult to see the diversity and inclusion in the past but we are seeing more of them coming in and we hope the numbers will continue growing,” he added.