On Wednesday 5th May, 2021, Cabinet Secretary, Prof. Margaret Kobia presided over the Absa Bank Women in Business Proposition Launch.
The proposition aims to empower businesswomen in Kenya with information to help them scale up their businesses.
In her keynote address, Prof. Kobia commended Absa on their achievement of 50:50 representation of women and men at board level. She also noted with appreciation that women occupy 32 per cent of Directorship positions at Absa.
“Research has shown that, where gender diversity is valued, decisions made are better and performance improves by 30%,” she said.
The Cabinet Secretary lauded the Bank’s proactive efforts to get competent women to take up their place in the world of entrepreneurship and business which include:
1. Partnering with the International Trade Centre in July 2016 to create opportunities for women business entrepreneurs to participate in the global economy by building their capacities on financial literacy and entrepreneurship, eventually benefitting more than 5500 women;
2. Launching the Absa Group #SheCan manifesto that calls upon the Bank to continue creating equality in its workplace and across our supply value chain by ensuring that the woman is heard while running an executive coaching programme to get them ready for senior leadership;
3. Being a signatory of the UN Programme dubbed Target Gender Equality, whose main purpose is to continue bridging the gender gap; and
4. The announcement in 2020 of a KSh. 10 billion kitty to advance credit to women-owned small and medium enterprises as part of Absa’s new customer value proposition.
She noted that the Ministry of Public Service and Gender, through the implementation of the National Policy on Gender and Development (2019), has spearheaded the actualisation of provisions on gender equality in the Constitution of Kenya, 2010.
“The Ministry of Public Service and Gender remains committed to continued engagement with private sector and other strategic partners in building a stronger economy that puts women, persons with disabilities and other disadvantaged groups in the strategy,” she said.
Also present at the event was; Jeremy Awori, Managing Director, Absa Bank Kenya, Elizabeth Wasunna Ochwa, Business Banking Director Absa Bank Kenya, Christine Mwai-Marandu, Country Credit Director, Absa Bank Kenya,Anne Mutahi, OGW, Senior Advisor to The President, Anne Zaleski Mori, Head of Partnership at SheTrades, International Trade Centre, and Nancy Muthoni, National Vice Chair, Women in Bussiness Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
By Jacqueline Kirimi