James Finlay (Kenya) Limited (Finlays) continues its commitment to celebrate and empower women on International Women’s Day.
Finlays donated food supplies and healthcare products to the Kericho Women’s Prison. The products will help address the immediate basic needs of the women in the prison.
According to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics 2017 Economic Survey, there are about 10,644 convicted women prisoners in Kenya. Overcrowding remains a big challenge in most prisons, with little access to basic needs and sanitation.
“Equitable access to basic needs and opportunities for women is essential for the sustainable development of the country. Creating an environment that fosters inclusion and accelerates diversity in all our systems is critical,” said Finlays Gender Empowerment Manager Janet Ruto.
The Kericho Women’s Prison Superintendent Deputy in charge Elizabeth Awuor expressed her heartfelt appreciation for the kind donation and acknowledged the support from Finlays. “We are grateful for the support from Finlays on this remarkable day. This will go a long way in mitigating any gaps in the basic needs of our women, “she said.
Finlays also held a Women in Leadership Webinar to underline the importance of accountable leadership. ‘Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world’ is the theme for this year’s International Women’s Day. The theme highlights how women can be made equal partners in the decision-making process, especially in regard to policy making. This year, there is a need to bring to light the tremendous efforts by women and girls around the world in shaping a more equal future and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and highlight the gaps that remain.
Members of the panel included the Lands Cabinet Secretary Farida Karoney and Strathmore University Law School Graduate School Director Dr. Fancy Too. Panel members discussed topics of relevance to women; among them were skills and competencies required to navigate career path, driving forces and key career anchors, opportunities and challenges that women face in the workplace and delivering effectively in the new normal.
Speaking at the Webinar, Lands Cabinet Secretary Farida Karoney said “We need to continue building our own capacity in order to grow into leadership positions. It is important to equip ourselves with the skills needed to succeed in leadership. Women need to support each other and understand the importance of growing their networks.”
Strathmore University Law School Graduate School Director Dr. Fancy Too said “The Covid-19 pandemic gave us an opportunity to showcase our strength as women. It gave us a chance to put ourselves out there. We need to change our mindset and push for an equal society where we all stand to gain. This will help in improving lives for all.”
Women empowerment is one of the pillars of the Finlays Sustainability Agenda; with a target of increasing participation of women in all levels of management to 30 percent by 2022, in support of the Sustainable Development Goals. Finlays partnered with IDH The Sustainable Trade Initiative and a technical training institution to equip women employees with technical skills commonly needed in the industry. The two-year apprenticeship programme involves both on-the-job and classroom training. In 2019, eighteen women graduated from this programme and found work related to their newly acquired skills.
Furthermore, Finlays has made significant efforts to help tackle the under representation of women in management roles. An intensive nine-month leadership training and mentorship management programme was developed in partnership with the Kenya Institute of Management and co-funded by IDH. In 2019, 26 women took part in this programme which seeks to build key leadership competencies in women as well as giving them confidence in their leadership abilities.