Federation of Kenyan Employers (FKE) trains women for the boardroom

By Luke Anami

Employers have introduced a programme aimed at improving  gender equality in the workplace.

The Federation of Kenya Employers (FKE) has started a training  programme dubbed “The Female Future” to get talented women into leadership positions.

“Female Future in Kenya is FKE’s effort  to bring more women into top management positions as well as into companies’ boardrooms,” FKE CEO Jacqueline Mugo said during the organisation’s Annual General Meeting last week.

“This product is made to move and sustain women in boardrooms, directorships, Cabinet, Parliament, Senate, county assemblies and senior management positions in all sectors of the economy.”

The programme will be offered by FKE in collaboration with the Centre for Corporate Governance, the Norwegian Business School, the Rhetoric Institute in Oslo and the Norwegian Enterprise Confederation.

 “It is the only programme of its kind in sub-Saharan Africa and has been developed to meet Kenya’s constitutional requirement of at least 33.3 per cent of either gender in top positions. It fairly gets woman to the top,” Mugo added.

She said the programme is being offered in three modules and addresses the challenges women face in the corporate world and provides sustainable solutions. It targets women who are already in middle-management positions.

Local consultants

“Our Norwegian partners will train local consultants identified by FKE who will in turn train participants enrolled into the Female Future programme.”

Each module will take three months to complete, with classes held five days a week.

A group of 15 trainers has already been identified, and the first group of participants began the programme last month.

Female Future was initiated in 2003 in response to a decision by the Government of Norway requiring a 40 per cent quota of women in boardrooms in public limited companies as well as State-owned limited companies.

The programme has adapted for Kenya — which failed to elect one-third of women into the National Assembly — is expected to increase the percentage of women in decision-making positions.

It also encourages business leaders in companies to drive the push to get more women into leadership positions.