Author: Peter Theuri
AfricaPress-Kenya: Three out of the 14 sectors have a female workforce of 40 per cent; these are in agriculture and fresh produce, paper and board, and services and consultancy. In terms of leadership, female-led Multinational Corporations (MNCs) had 85 per cent of women in senior management slightly higher than male-led MNCs, which stood at 83 per cent.
The Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) on Tuesday launched the first-ever Women in Manufacturing Report.
From the survey, companies in the manufacturing sector are predominantly male-owned and staff across all its fourteen manufacturing subsectors, except for the chemical and allied subsector, which accounts for 50 per cent female.
Three out of the 14 sectors have a female workforce of 40 per cent; these are in agriculture and fresh produce, paper and board, and services and consultancy. In terms of leadership, female-led Multinational Corporations (MNCs) had 85 per cent of women in senior management slightly higher than male-led MNCs, which stood at 83 per cent.
The outcomes of the research are expected to pivot KAM’s advocacy drive of the Women in Manufacturing Program in Kenya, by informing stakeholders in mainstreaming gender equality and inclusion in the manufacturing sector.
Ministry of Industrialisation, Trade and Enterprise Development Principal Secretary, Dr Francis Owino, lauded KAM’s efforts towards promoting women’s participation in the local manufacturing sector.
“The Women in Manufacturing Study is a great milestone for the local industry. As a government, we are keen to see women take up opportunities in manufacturing. We envisage the integration of gender issues into the development process across all sectors, including industry. We shall continue to work with the private sector to eliminate discrimination in venturing into the sector, as well as do away with challenges that hinder women from soaring in the production of goods and services,” he said.
KAM Chair, Mr Mucai Kunyiha noted that KAM continues to advocate for an inclusive manufacturing sector, through the establishment of policies and incentives that encourage women to be key players in value and supply chains.
“Women are making strides in steering the growth of the global manufacturing sector and demonstrating that manufacturing is a fulfilling career with limitless opportunities. We need to equip, mentor, and build women who will start businesses in the sector as well as take up decision- making positions,” noted Mr Mucai.
The Women in Manufacturing (WIM) programme, Chair, Ms. Flora Mutahi, explained that the report is a major step towards achieving WIM’s vision for equality, inclusivity, and diversity in the sector.
She also said that male-owned enterprises have more women in senior management, with female-led local companies having more women in senior management.
“Male- owned companies had slightly more women in senior management at 89 per cent whereas female-owned companies stood at 85 per cent. On the other hand, female-led local companies had more women in senior management at 88 per cent compared to male-led local companies at 75 per cent. Companies that had been in operation for more than 40 years had a female workforce of 29 per cent. This rose to 35per cent for companies that were in operation for 11 to 20 years and was even higher at 41 per cent for the newest companies that are less than a year old. 93 per cent of women-owned manufacturing businesses are MSMEs and operate in the informal sector.”