By Dr Hanningtone Gaya, CEO – The Knowledge Warehouse Kenya
In this issue, whose theme is celebrating Top 25 Most Powerful Women in the C-Suite impacting business 2022, one outstanding female leader, Rita Kavashe, consented to write the LAST WORD, our column wrapping up the publisher’s thoughts of the month. Rita’s seminal article is titled: Women in Leadership. This fascinating piece provides a glimpse into the evolution of women in leadership and the significant strides achieved across public and private sector spheres over the last century and into the 21st century.
Rita adds that in the last couple of years, we have seen more women rise to the top levels of companies across the world. This is because an increasing number of companies are seeing the value of having more women in leadership, and they are proving that they can make progress on gender diversity.
A 2016 study by the Peterson Institute for International Economics, surveying 91 countries, found that organizations with women in the C-suite were more profitable. This is supported by a 2018 McKinsey Report, Delivering through Diversity, which showed that companies in the top-quartile for gender diversity on executive teams were 21% more likely to outperform on profitability and 27% more likely to have superior value creation.
There is also evidence that corporate boards with women are better able to shift business focus from short term profit to longer term growth as women leaders are more collaborative and skilled in balancing interests of multiple stakeholders. Data continues to show that women are accelerators for economic growth, new market value, profits, reputation and development goals like ending hunger, poverty, inequality, and tackling climate change.
Our own 2022 Top 25 Most Powerful Women in C-Suite impacting business resonates with Rita Kavashe’s theme and for the first time, the list features leading African women working beyond the country’s borders. One is from outside the country and working out of Nairobi, Kenya.
The 25 women mainly CEOs and a few holding level two C-Suite positions that is equivalent to Deputy CEOs, are at the helm of organizations, firms and functions where these women continue to excel in their performance, displaying phenomenal corporate leadership styles, human transformation, empathy and high degree emotional intelligence. Thanks to their leadership styles, the effects are felt within and without the country’s borders.
The most important criteria are the ability to effect and manage change and transformation of both the people and organizational culture. Perception of creating critical mass felt by social impact scored highly, especially leadership on ESG and other SDGs with major societal impact.
Transforming organizations and service delivery were weighted highly, leading to higher ranking. Industry leadership and executive coaching training and practical skills were also ranked highly.
Those women CEOs that go out of their way in ensuring gender mainstreaming and opening doors for their younger sisters, also scored highly. Conference presentation and panel discussion were also rated highly. These 25 outstanding women on the spotlight this year are extraordinary women who are leading from the front, coaching and transforming their organizations, the employees under them and other stakeholders dependent on them, with human dignity and humility, one day at a time. They deserve to be celebrated, having shown others how to climb the corporate ladders while demonstrating great and leadership as head of various organizations and functions in companies.
Size of organization or profitability were not considered, as we view these as factors beyond the control of those found to be most eligible.
Read on and share your comments. We listen and observe.