Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs Cabinet Secretary Margaret Kobia has challenged organisations to offer support for women leadership in the energy sector.
She said institutions need to adopt innovative ways to push for the advancement and participation of women for sustainable development.
Speaking at the inaugural KenGen Pink Energy Conference in Nairobi yesterday, the CS noted that women are under-represented in science and technical fields.
“Trends indicate a growing gender divide, and women are under-represented in the fields of science, technology, engineering, mathematics and design. The potential for change remains in the far horizon as women are scarce in engineering and other technical fields,” Prof Kobia said.
She, however, pointed out that there were innovative ways of empowering women, especially in the area of sustainable infrastructure, and it is vital that women’s ideas and experiences equally influence the design and implementation of the innovations that shape the future.
“Sustainable Development Goals are interlinked and their achievement requires transformative shifts, integrated approaches and new solutions,” Kobia said.
KenGen Managing Director Rebecca Miano added that the advancement of women was critical to business success.
“Companies with women in leadership outperform their competitors, with a McKinsey study finding a 55 per cent increase in average company earnings before interest and tax,” she said.
Ms Miano said while most organisations had attempted to change the exclusive work environment, systematic barriers affecting the advancement of women still existed. She decried existing policies that perpetuate assumptions and stereotypes barring women from pursuing leadership roles.
“Legislation and policies related to employment equity, human rights, access to affordable daycare and reproductive rights have a profound impact on the ability of women to advance in the workplace,” she added. [James Wanzala]