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Women challenged to overcome fears and break the ceiling as SGWN marks third anniversary

By Christine Koech | October 22nd 2021

Standard Group CEO Orlando Lyomu and Information Secretary Judy Munyinyi (right) during the third anniversary celebration of the Standard Group Women Network (SGWN). [Wilberforce Okwiri, Standard]

Organisations with a majority of women at top leadership tend to post positive financial results, says Principal Secretary, Broadcast and Telecommunicating Esther Koimett.

Koimett made the remarks at the third-anniversary celebration of the Standard Group Women Network (SGWN) on Friday at the Standard Group's headquarters on Mombasa Road where she was the chief guest. 

In her official speech read by Information Secretary Judy Munyinyi, Koimett challenged women to support each other in their journeys to the top even as she called for gender inclusion at workplaces.

While a UN report estimates that it will take about 250 years to fully bridge the gender gap, Koimet believes that with concerted efforts, this dream can be attained.

“Entrusting women with leadership roles is not just about equality. Research has shown that having gender balance leads to the development of organisations. Additionally, organisations where women are the majority and are leaders, register better financial results,” she said.

Munyinyi, a former journalist, in her remarks after reading the speech, praised the efforts of the network and challenged women to support each other in their journeys to the top. 

Other guests were Rose Wachuka Macharia, Chief of Staff at the Office of the Chief Justice and President of the Supreme Court, and Judy Njino, Executive Director, Global Compact Network Kenya and Chair, Africa Region Network Council.

Standard Group CEO Mr Orlando Lyomu, Information Secretary Judy Munyinyi and Chief Talent Officer Nicholas Siwatom (right) were present at the event. [Wilberforce Okwiri, Standard]

Also present at the event were Standard Group CEO Mr Orlando Lyomu, Company Secretary and Head of Legal Millicent Ngetich and Chief Talent Officer Nicholas Siwatom. 

According to Lyomu, the Standard Group recently became the first media house in Kenya to attain two-thirds gender proportion in editorial management.

Queenter Mbori, the president of the network, highlighted the milestones achieved so far, which include setting up a gender desk within the editorial department and putting in place a zero-tolerance sexual harassment policy.  

The network also facilitated the signing of a media compact agreement with UN Women to help champion the gender agenda in news coverage. Other milestones include the setting up of two fully-equipped nursing rooms in both the headquarters and town offices and the launch of a TV platform, Her Standards on KTN Home, that is hosted by Mbori and airs every Saturday at 4pm. 

Established in October 2018, SGWN set out to improve the welfare of women working at the organisation following a company survey that revealed the majority of the company's female staff felt less engaged compared to their male counterparts. 

Standard Group Women Network (SGWN) President Queenter Mbori. [Wilberforce Okwiri, Standard]

The network set out to pursue six agendas including improving the recruitment and career progression of women, leadership training and mentorship, improving facilities, zero tolerance on sexual harassment and gender-balanced editorial coverage.

This year, with the anniversary coinciding with Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the network organised an awareness talk and breast examination for both female and male staff.

The network also organised an exhibition dubbed Mega Soko where staff could buy and sell goods in a setup within the company’s compound. 

Over the three years, SGWN has also partnered with several organisations to help women at the company access training and other opportunities for networking and career improvement.

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