What if the narrative change?. Throughout the centuries, society has downplayed the right of women. The world has been waging a brutal gender war. And the bona fide cost of this war is the murder of half the world’s dreams. Trying to prioritize one gender over another when it comes to resources, opportunity and not forgetting inclusion. Our politician in Kenya usually say ” sharing the cake”. There is a narrative that there is a competition or empowering all genders will lead to increase competition. What if this narrative in different parts of the world is at fault? Or our view of addressing is faulty? Is there an effortless way of achieving an inclusive society? What if we can look at this problem differently? It should not be that we need 2/3 or 1/3 representation? i think looking at that would only encourage a gender war which is wrong. In business, the best company is One that can maximum its output while minimizing the input. Why do we not emulate in our society? The goal should be to include all, not some. all irrespective of the gender,race and religion.
Let me break it down with a football match illustration:
- A team made up of 11 players.
- The Goalkeeper Stays in one place throughout the game. I
- The Strikers depend on the midfielder to get the ball to score.
- The defender clears out the ball when there is danger. Can we say they lack focus?
- And if you are looking at football for the first time. You might call a goal keeper ridge to the game, and the striker lazy. While your conclusion is that the midfielders are only hardworking person.
From my illustration of a football team above, no role is less significant. But in order to compete, you need all 11 players. That is the first step towards winning a game. Then the second aspect is to full the 11 people with people who understand and can play that roles well. The striker needs that focus and laziness to stay upfield to be a threat to the opposition team. The lack of a clear focus toward the opposition post does not count much, as their duty is to prevent an opposition striker. While the keeper does not have to move if his own role is to protect the goal post. But why does society downplay other players? The real enemy of humanity is climate change, poverty and the lack of freedom. We need everyone, not only men driving but ladies also co-piloting. Empowerment should be for everyone. And we need the best of us not caring about gender or race. If we are to win, then all should have a part to play.
Even in an era where the narrative has been on one side, a silent light shines. Leaders who are building the core of society without getting the needed recognition. Lets me highlight the silent milestone of the pioneer toward a free and inclusive society.
Mary Mwangi – Founder and CEO of the Nairobi Livestock Market Trust.
She has a degree in Veterinary Medicine from the University of Nairobi. Her vast experience in livestock markets and knowledge of animal health and research make her a key stakeholder in the economy.
Mary Mwangi has been able to grow her company over the years through innovation, passion, persistence and hard work. Her company is doing well because it provides lasting solutions to problems affecting farmers by offering them an easy way to market their animals, thereby ensuring optimum returns on investment.
Karen Nyamu – Managing Director of Solid Refuse Solutions.
“`Karen Nyamu, Kenya Ladies career Milestone
“It’s not about the destination; it’s about the journey we take to get there. I didn’t need a man to be who I wanted to be. And that’s why I’m here; because of this journey.”
““Karen Nyamu is a philanthropist and lawyer running for Nairobi governor in 2017. She is also a mother of two, a former lecturer at the University of Nairobi and founder/managing director of Solid Refuse Solutions which offers waste management services.
Anne Waiguru – Governor Kirinyaga County
Even though she was born in Embu, Anne Waiguru is a second-generation Kikuyu. She grew up in Murang’a and went to school at the Kabare Girls High School. She was the former Cabinet Secretary for Devolution and Planning, a post she held from April 2013 to July 2015. Before that, she was a former director of the Vision 2030 Delivery Secretariat and has also worked at Kenya’s Ministry of Finance as Head of Public Sector Reforms.
She is the first woman to be elected as Governor in Kenya and previously served as Permanent Secretary for ICT (2007-2012). She has also worked at Safaricom Limited, Coopers & Lybrand Consulting, Deloitte Consulting, Arthur Andersen & Co., Barclays Bank of Kenya and UUNET Technologies Africa. She is an alumnus of Harvard University’s John F Kennedy School of Government Executive Education Programmes on Leadership where she served as President of her class in 2004
Iris Kura – Founder and CEO of Iris Consultancy.
When Iris Kura founded and became the CEO of Iris Consultancy, she had the vision to help Kenyan businesses and individuals be more efficient and effective.
With this in mind, she quickly began helping her clients set and achieve their goals by developing strategies for them to do so.
Iris is also the founder of Women in Business, a non-profit organization that supports female entrepreneurs in Kenya. The women who are part of this organization can get access to resources, knowledge and experience from the network of members.
Lydia Njuguna – Founder and owner of House of Treasures, a local jewellery brand.
Lydia Njuguna, Founder of House of Treasures, is the subject of this week’s feature.
- Lydia Njuguna has been featured in many publications for her work. Her jewellery has been worn by international celebrities like Oprah Winfrey and Lupita Nyong’o. Her jewellery is also well-liked by local celebrities like Vera Sidika and Huddah Monroe. She is a role model for young people from Thika and beyond!
- Lydia started her career after getting married to the politician Mwenye Njuguna in 1999. They have three children: George, 14; Samantha, 13; and Andrew, 9. She first showed an interest in jewellery making when she was 16 years old, but she did not pursue it until after she had given birth to her first child. Now that she has had three children and her own company, she says that being an entrepreneur was the best decision of her life—and it shows!
Jane Gichuru – Media entrepreneur, author and motivational speaker.
She is a media entrepreneur, author and motivational speaker. She is the founder and CEO of Africa Leadership Initiative-Kenya which has trained over 500 young people who are currently assuming leadership roles in various sectors. She is the co-founder and CEO of The African Executive, one of the leading business periodicals on Africa and its diaspora. She is also the founder of the Leadership Institute in Africa which trains leaders for public, private and civil society domains.
The Media Council of Kenya (MCK) named her the Most Outstanding Woman in Journalism for 2013 as part of activities to celebrate ‘Women’s Month’.
Christine Wawira – Founder and CEO of Green Dreams Tech Limited.
Christine Wawira is the founder and CEO of Green Dreams Tech Limited. The firm has since grown to become one of Kenya’s most respected social enterprises in the agribusiness sector that produces natural fertilizers from waste products.
Green Dreams Tech Limited was established in 2012 and has grown to be one of Kenya’s most respected social enterprises in the agribusiness sector. In 2014, Christine Wawira was appointed as a board member at National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), making her NEMA’s youngest board member. She also won the Queen’s Young Leaders Award for 2016 which was presented by Prince Charles & Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace.
Judy Wakhungu – Former Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Water and Natural Resources.
- Judy Wakhungu is a Kenyan politician and the former Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Water and Natural Resources.
- She was appointed to the position on 18 April 2013, replacing Professor Judi Wakhungu, who had been appointed the Kenyan ambassador to France.
- The second-last paragraph in this section contains information about her education and career as an educator before she joined politics.