Special Reports

Top 40 Under 40 Women’s big day in city

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The Top 40 Under 40 2021 Women finalists at their brunch event at the Capital Club on December 4, 2021. Bamburi Cement has partnered with IFC on a programme to support women SMEs. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA | NMG

Nation Media Group #ticker:NMG held a glamourous brunch on Saturday to celebrate Top 40 Under 40 Women finalists.

Now in its 13th year, the Top 40 Under 40 project honours outstanding women in different spheres of the economy from sports, creatives, medicine, law, to social entrepreneurship.

The 40 awardees shared the joys, concerns, and anxieties of rising the career ladder as a young woman.

Speakers were accomplished women with a wealth of knowledge in leadership including Ory Okolloh, who sits on many boards including the Thomson Reuters Founders Share Company, East African Breweries Limited (EABL) #ticker:EABL, and Deloitte Africa; Flora Mutahi, the founder and CEO of Melvin Marsh International, the manufacturer of Melvin’s tea and chairperson of the Kenya Association of Manufacturers; and, Marion Gathoga-Mwangi, BOC Gases managing director.

“You have already been created for a network [Top 40 Under 40], leverage on this recognition that has been given to you and network,” the BOC Gases MD said, adding “As women, we always have voices telling us we can’t do, our mothers didn’t do it, silencing these voices is a skill you must learn and you have been given validation with this award that you are exceptional.”

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Women follow proceedings during the Top 40 Under 40 2021 Women finalists brunch event at the Capital Club on December 4, 2021. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA | NMG

Ms Mutahi, a seasoned entrepreneur who sits on many boards spoke about the power of being non-aggressive especially if working in male-dominated fields, creating a work-life balance, mastering the art of delegation to get time to grow, read or listen to podcasts, and the one-word women need to be saying more often.

“Learn to say, ‘Sure’. It’s a muscle I need you to develop. Most women always say ‘No, I can’t, I’m not ready’. Let me give you an exercise, count how many times you will say yes to all opportunities in the coming weeks. If you’re unsure say ‘I’ll get back to you’, then ask yourself ‘Why not?’” she said at the event that was held at Capital Club Nairobi.

“Do not fear to reach out to more experienced people to ask questions,” she added.

This year’s Top 40 Under 40 Women attracted more than 1,000 nominees and those who made it to the final list were trailblazers in unique medical fields, law, sports, and in the community.

“As one of the judges, I was so impressed by the calibre of profiles, achievements at a very young age. Anytime you are given a platform, make sure you expand it to the others. I continue being successful in my career because people opened doors for me. They picked me out of where I was meandering in the wildernesses and told me ‘Come and sit here’. So don’t forget to do the same for others as you progress,” Ms Okolloh said.

The sponsors of the event were EABL, Inchcape, Lancet Kenya, and Estee Lauder.

FULL LIST: 2021 TOP 40 WOMEN UNDER 40