Achieving Gender Leadership is a Multi-Pronged Approach

Feb 13, 2018 | Articles, Featured

Achieving gender diversity needs to be more than a single approach for Kenyan companies.

Whilst the recent elections yielded far greater representation of women in political leadership with notable increases in all elected roles there is still a great deal of work to be done and especially in the public and private sector.

In 2015 Boardwalk Leadership conducted the first Commonwealth Benchmarking report of women in Leadership roles. What did we find? Only 9% of executive leadership roles were held by women and 18% of Board positions were held by women. Most of the roles were clustered across a few companies; 7 of the listed companies had women holding executive leadership roles. When companies see the value of gender diversity they are more likely to keep moving forward but the reality for many companies the question still seems do they harness the benefits of gender diversity and achieve the financial results associated with a diverse leadership team.

Just over half of the companies had women in board positions, which is great news but again goes to show to build a strong robust pipeline across board and executive leadership fronts companies need a well-developed inclusion and diversity plan. These plans are based on the three key elements: recruitment, retention, and promotion. Building a strong recruitment approach, attracting the best talent is only part of the solution, companies can benefit from innovative ways to retain female talent – even after they have had children. Promotion, which is the third part of the solution, requires fast-tracking talented individuals and working closely with them to build a strong career development plan.

In the war for talent it is not enough to have a website with glossy pictures, female applicants will check to see what is really going on behind the scenes and whether companies are serious about building a strong pipeline of women for leadership opportunities.

We will unveil the latest results for Kenya and see what progress has been made when we share data at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Summit in April 2018. If you are HRD and would like to find out what you can do to improve your performance in gender diversity drop us a line.