Some of the Top 40 Under 40 Women 2014, from left: Sumra Rehmet, Managing Director, Roma Company Limited, 27; Captain Irene Mutungi, Pilot, Kenya Airways, 38; Sara Koki Kinagwi, Medical doctor, 38; and Lupita Nyong’o, Film and Fashion Queen, Oscar Award Winner, 31. Photos/DIANA NGILA/AFP
Posted Friday, June 20 2014 at 09:21
Highlights of key stories
- Boardroom still a strange place for Kenya women
- Profiles of Kenya’s Top 40 Under 40 women
- There is a silent revolution for women in enterprise in Kenya
How the Top 40 Under 40 Women were picked
Every year the top 40 Under 40 list comes with a mixed bag of routine inputs and equal measure of freshness that only shapes up at the tail end of the production process.
As we have done consistently in the past six years, the Business Daily invited its readers to nominate women aged under 40 who in their view have made significant achievements in whatever segments of our society and economy.
That is then followed by the convening of a panel of judges who do the hard job of sifting through the hundreds of entries and picking out the outstanding nominees for recognition in this annual listing that has become very competitive.
In the past, accolades have come our way for recognising these beautiful minds whose efforts and work the media does not ordinarily feature. But we have also had to deal with a measure of criticism on very critical areas such as the age of the candidates and some of the things they claim to have done.
Appearing in the Top 40 Under 40 list has become so critical to hundreds of Kenyan women that some appear to have decided that they would be on it regardless of their qualifications to do so.
So this late there has been a great measure of cutting corners, compression of age, canvassing and misrepresentation of facts to fit the bill.
The BD team has tried the best it can to keep the faith and stay the course to come up with a list that truly has women who represent Kenya’s promise in the corporate world, research, science, the arts, theatre, professionalism and entrepreneurs.
In compiling this list of Women to Watch, the Business Daily has attempted to go beyond the basic list of fame and influence to interrogating each candidate’s ingenuity, performance and staying power in whatever they do.
We have then ascertained each candidate’s age, and considered data on the size of the business they do, its scope and complexity (i.e whether it is a national/multi-national or cross-sectoral operation), and the competitive landscape in the segment of the economy it operates.
Women running or occupying senior positions in companies with a multi-national reach scored higher marks than those in charge of national/local agencies.
In this list are also women professionals such as lawyers, architects, and partners in accounting firms, included purely on the basis of the size (value) of the work they have done.
The Top 40 Under 40 project has also awarded high marks to women who have excelled in professions that have been and remain male dominated such as software engineering, aviation and engineering. This is because the newspaper believes there should be no gender-based glass ceiling on any career aspiration.
Ochieng’ Rapuro, Managing Editor
Boardroom still a strange place for Kenya women
The role of women in Kenyan boardrooms is dismally below global standards, standing at less than 15 per cent of board positions, even as women contribute 52 per cent of the country’s economy.
High-powered women and supportive spouses: Who’s in charge, and of what?
After their daughter Annie was born, Gail McGovern and her husband established what came to be known as the “kitchen calendar rule.” At the time, McGovern worked for AT&T overseeing 10,000 employees; her husband ran a large unit of Hewlett-Packard. They both needed to travel regularly for work, but one of them also needed to be home for Annie.
Profiles of Kenya’s Top 40 Under 40 women
The profiles of women who have broken the career glass ceiling early enough and are headed for greatness.
Betty Liu on how to succeed in your career.
There is a silent revolution for women in enterprise in Kenya
A silent revolution is taking shape among young women leaders, who are shunning employment to plunge into the more delicate entrepreneurial world on the promise of social and economic freedom, happiness and satisfaction.