Over the years, we are used to men holding influential positions in organisations, companies or even government agencies.
However, this status quo is gradually changing as more women are now appointed to powerful positions top companies.
In this article, WoK looks at ten most influential female CEOs in 2023.
Jane Karuku is the CEO of East African Breweries Limited (EABL), headquartered in Nairobi with subsidiaries in Uganda, South Sudan and Tanzania.
She assumed her position in January 2021 after serving as the managing director of Kenya Breweries Limited, one of EABL’S subsidiaries in Kenya.
Karuku has previously served as managing director of Cadbury Schweppes, responsible for East and West Africa, Deputy Chief Executive and Secretary General of Telkom Kenya and the President of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA).
Maggie Ireri is the Founder and CEO of Trends and Insights For Africa (TIFA), an African-based market research company.
The 47-year-old served as the managing director of Ipsos Kenya Limited until September 2014 when she left to found TIFA.
Ireri has previously worked as the head of research and later country manager for Steadmam Synovate Uganda Limited and business development director for Ipsos Synovate.
Fiona Asonga is the the CEO of Technology Service Providers of Kenya (TESPOK, a non-profit organisation with the vision of enabling ICT growth and development.
Asinga has served in this capacity for over 14 years, although she joined the organisation in 2006 as an administrator.
She was appointed the CEO in 2009.
Gwen Kinisu is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Managing Director (MD) at Prudential Life Insurance.
Prudential first provided life insurance to Kenya in 1930, having set up the an East African Business centre in Nairobi.
Its former headquarters, the Prudential Assurance building, constructed in 1959, still stands on Wabera Street in Nairobi.
Kinisu was appointed Prudential CEO in October 2021. She has over 14 years of experience in insurance and banking, and she was the Chief Commercial Officer for PLAK since 2018.
Dr Toseef Din is the CEO of MP Shah Hospital.
She is an accomplished management professional with extensive experience of over 16 years, 9 years of which are in healthcare management at the hospital.
Under her leadership MP Shah Hospital has realized a number of projects including the Diabetes Care Centre, a new pediatric unit, the launch of the bariatric surgery program and a kidney transplant programme among others.
Sumayya Hassan is the CEO of Takaful Insurance of Africa (TIA), an insurance company offering risk management and financial security services.
Hassan was appointed to office in August 2020 having been the first female CEO of Takaful.
Other than serving as Takaful CEO, she also sits in various boards such as Nation Media Group, Safari Doctors and Islamic Relief Kenya.
She is also the the Patron of the Muslim Deaf Association of Kenya.
Caroline Mukiira is the General Manager of International Business Machines Corporation (IBM).
Following her appointment in June 2020, she came IBM’s first-ever female General Manager for East Africa.
She previously served as the Global Business Services Leader for IBM in East Africa, responsible for the day to day operations and strategy execution.
Before joining IBM, she previously worked at Accenture in New York, Progressive Insurance in Cleveland in Ohio and co-founded Standup for Kids, an NGO that caters for the homeless youth.
Charlot Magayi is the CEO of Mukuru Clean Stoves, a social enterprise that provides reliable and affordable cookstoves for low-income households.
In 2017, she founded Mukuru Clean Stoves to address excessive fuel consumption, household air pollution and children’s burn injuries.
The environmental Science graduate uses water hyacinth, cassava stems, sorghum waste and sugar cane in making the stoves.
Njeri Jomo is the CEO and Principal Officer of Jubilee Health Insurance.
She was appointed as the CEO in November, 2022, just days after the Allianz SE completed the acquisition of a 66 percent stake in Jubilee Insurance Mauritius subsidiary.
Jomo previously served as General Manager, Retail Business Development at Britam Group.
She holds an Executive Master of Business Administration from USIU Africa and Frankfurt School of Finance and Management, a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration (Marketing) from Kenya Methodist University and an associate, Life Management Institute (ALMI) from LL Global USA.
Jomo also holds a Diploma in Insurance and an Award in Bancassurance from the Chartered Insurance Institute, London and a Certificate of Proficiency (COP) Life & General Insurance from the College of Insurance.
Rose Muturi is the CEO of Branch Microfinance Bank.
In December 2021, she was ranked Kenya’s best CEO in 100 best African leaders ranking.
Muturi was ranked 28th in 2021’s Choiseul 100 Africa overall ranking ahead of Darshan Chandaria of Chandaria Group of Companies and George Gachara, Managing Partner at HEVA Fund LLP.