By Isaac Blessings
Kenya, like the rest of Africa, is a patriarchal society and this can be seen by the number of men holding powerful position in organisations. This status quo is gradually changing as more women are now in charge of blue chip companies. In the 2022 African Definitive List of Women CEOs released by Africa.com, six Kenyan women were recognized alongside 68 other African women for their outstanding leadership roles.
Here is the story of the six Kenyan women CEOs as told by WoK.
Engineer Rosemary Oduor
Engineer Rosemary Oduor is the current acting Managing Director (MD) and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC). She was appointed in an acting capacity in August 2021 by President Uhuru Kenyatta following reforms that were taking place at the company. Rosemary joined KPLC in 1991 and rose through the ranks to become a senior executive. She holds a Bachelor of Technology Degree in Electrical Engineering from Moi University and a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from the prestigious University of Nairobi.
Rebecca Miano is the Managing Director (MD) and CEO of Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen) Plc, a position she has held since November 2017. KenGen is the largest producer of electricity in the entire East African region. She attended the University of Nairobi where she graduated with a degree in Law before proceeding to the Kenya School of Law for the Advocates Training Program. She later attended the prestigious Australian National University where she graduated with a Master of Law in Comparative Law. She started her career at ‘Musyoka Annan & Company Advocates’ before proceeding to Australia where she worked at ‘Slater and Gordon’ a law firm situated in Queensland. Rebecca Miano joined KenGen in 1998 as a senior legal officer and rose to become the Director of Legal Affairs and Company Secretary at the time of her promotion in 2017.
Nasim Devji is the current Managing Director (MD) and CEO of Diamond Trust Bank Group (DTB). DTB is a commercial banking conglomerate with headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya and operations in Tanzania, Uganda and Burundi. Nasim was born in Kenya but did her secondary education in Tanzania. She is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales as well as an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Taxation. Nasim is also a fellow of the Kenya Institute of Bankers and a member of the Kenya Institute of Directors. She joined DTB in 1996 as a regional financial controller and rose through the ranks to be appointed the MD and CEO five years later in 2001.
Also Read: The Ten Richest Women in Kenya
Kendi Ntwiga is the current Country Manager for Microsoft Company having been appointed in the position on January 16th 2020. Prior to joining Microsoft, she served as the General Manager of the East, West and Central Africa Cluster for Check Point Software. She has an experience spanning 15 years working with different multinational companies such as HP, Oracle and Intel. She is the founder of She-Goes-Tech – an initiative seeking young girls and women who are pursuing STEM careers.
Jane Karuku is the Managing Director (MD) and CEO of East African Breweries (EABL), the largest beverage production company in the East African region. EABL has its headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya and operations in Uganda, Tanzania and South Sudan. Prior to that she served as the Managing Director of Kenya Breweries Limited, a subsidiary of the East African Breweries Limited. Karuku holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Food Science and Technology from the University of Nairobi. She also holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the prestigious National University of California.
Brenda Mbathi is the current CEO of General Electric (GE) East Africa. Ms Mbathi joined General Electric in March 2015 and was responsible for managing government relations and advocacy across the African continent. Prior to joining General Electric, she served as a Corporate Affairs Director for East African Breweries Limited (EABL). She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in International Relations and Geography from Mount Holyoke College. She is the Director of the Kenya Private Sector Association (KEPSA) in charge of Education and Energy, member of the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) and Chairperson of the Inaugural Board of Governors of the MPESA Foundation Academy.