Editorials

Bridge career gender gap

crowd
BDgeneric_logo

Summary

  • Kenya has witnessed a great deal of effort to reduce the huge gender development gap in the last decade or so.
  • However, the failure to address biases, social norms and cultural expectations, among other issues, has seen a reversal in gains on women empowerment.

Kenya has witnessed a great deal of effort to reduce the huge gender development gap in the last decade or so. However, the failure to address biases, social norms and cultural expectations, among other issues, has seen a reversal in gains on women empowerment.

According to the Global Gender Gap Report for 2021 by the World Economic Forum, more women in Kenya are being locked out of education and employment opportunities than in the past 15 years.

The report notes that the slow progress is the result of two opposing trends — while there is an increase in more skilled women professionals, there is a persistent lack of women in leadership. Lack of visible role models running businesses and organisations only serves as a detriment to the empowerment.

Only about 40 per cent of women enrol in universities and a significant number, especially those pursuing sciences, drop out.

More women also drop off mid-career in part due to lack of mentors to encourage them on.

To safeguard the gains made and to move forward there is need to bridge the pay gap, appoint women to senior positions, and set up mentorship programmes for young women in the workforce.