Top 5 Women Consultants in Corporate Communications

At the core of Karen’s leadership philosophy are accountability, integrity, and empathy. These values guide her interactions with colleagues, clients, and communities, fostering trust and reliability.

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KAREN BASIYE

DIRECTOR – SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS & SOCIAL IMPACT, SAFARICOM PLC

As renowned business leader Simon Mainwaring once said, “Effective communication is the key to sustainability in business.” These words resonate with Karen Basiye, who embodies the powerful intersection of corporate communication and sustainable business practices.

Karen’s career began at the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), where she interned, exploring various roles that fostered her passion for environmental management. After her internship, she was hired full-time and worked with the Public Complaints Committee on Environment, which deepened her interest in the field. This experience inspired her to pursue further studies, earning the prestigious Erasmus Mundus scholarship, which is awarded to students demonstrating academic excellence and a strong commitment to global environmental issues.

Following her tenure at NEMA, Karen joined Safaricom, where she has held various roles in sustainability, progressively building up to her current position as Director of Sustainable Business and Social Impact. In her capacity, Karen leverages her expertise in corporate communication to integrate social and environmental considerations into Safaricom’s business practices. Her commitment to sustainability is not just a professional duty but a personal passion that drives her daily efforts.

At the core of Karen’s leadership philosophy are accountability, integrity, and empathy. These values guide her interactions with colleagues, clients, and communities, fostering trust and reliability. She believes in empowering others and creating a supportive environment where individuals can thrive, echoing the sentiments of renowned communication expert Simon Sinek, “Great leaders don’t create followers, they create more leaders.”

Karen’s dedication to sustainability and social impact has earned her numerous accolades. She was honoured by the Global Compact Network Kenya as an ‘SDG Pioneer’ for her commitment to advancing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs). Additionally, her advocacy for environmental sustainability was recognised with the Environment Sustainability Award by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA).

Under Karen’s leadership, Safaricom has also received significant recognition. The telco’s dedication to sustainability was celebrated with the Sustainability Catalyst Award, highlighting its role as a leader in responsible business practices. Furthermore, Safaricom’s commitment to transparent and ethical reporting earned accolades such as the Financial Reporting (FiRe) Awards, cementing its reputation for integrity and accountability.

Karen holds a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies from Kenyatta University (KU). She earned a Master of Science (MSc) degree in Environmental Science, Policy, and Management through the Erasmus Mundus program, jointly from Central European University and Lund University. In 2016, she completed a Senior Management Leadership Programme in Organisational Leadership at Strathmore University.

In navigating her journey, Karen draws inspiration from her late mother, whose wisdom continues to guide her decisions and actions, reminding her of the values she holds most dear. She is also influenced by a diverse array of leaders she has encountered, each contributing to her growth and perspective.

Her advice for success centres on embracing one’s journey. Karen stresses the importance of charting one’s own path and staying true to personal vision and goals. She encourages belief in oneself, urging others to trust in their abilities and embrace their unique strengths and talents. Self-confidence, she notes, is essential for overcoming obstacles and seizing opportunities. Karen also emphasises the value of lifelong learning, viewing every experience, encounter, and challenge as an opportunity for personal and professional growth.

Karen’s journey exemplifies the transformative power of effective communication in driving sustainable business practices. Her visionary leadership and unwavering commitment to ethical conduct serve as a beacon of inspiration for aspiring changemakers worldwide. As Safaricom transitions to become Africa’s leading purpose-led technology company, Karen remains steadfast in her commitment to serving the company’s vision and the broader aspirations of the communities it serves. With a deep sense of purpose guiding her every step, Karen epitomises the essence of leadership driven by service and impact.

In the words of those who know her best, “Karen Basiye leads by example, embodying the values of integrity and accountability.” She herself states, “I am dedicated to serving humanity on a global scale, aligning my personal purpose with Safaricom’s mission to drive positive change in our communities.”

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Dr. Hanningtone Gaya

Dr. Hanningtone Gaya

Kenya’s Dr Hanningtone Gaya, holds a PhD in Commerce in Business Management from Nelson Mandela University (NMU), is viewed as an authority in country branding and is the founder chairman of the Brand Kenya Board.

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