Keep it up, keep pushing and fight for your space to inspire those behind you. That was the rallying call during this year’s gala dinner for the Top 40 Under 40 Women finalists on Friday evening.
The Top 40 women game changers in the country were challenged to use their skills and experience to help grow the next generation of women entrepreneurs and leaders.
Nation Media Group CEO Joe Muganda said that if not done deliberately or “very” consciously, women tend not to get the same opportunities in the work place as men do.
“Men need to wake up and figure out what is it that they need to do to help ladies go up the ladder,” said Mr Muganda.
“I think it is important because if they don’t we will slip back to what we do best. The world is out there for you to achieve what you want to achieve.”
He was speaking during the eighth edition of the awards at the Sankara Hotel in Westlands, Nairobi.
The awards were launched by the Business Daily, to recognise exceptional women below the age of 40. Managing editor Ochieng’ Rapuro urged the women to uphold integrity as the awards open them up to public scrutiny.
He said that the event is about recognising a whole mix of women that have made great achievements in whatever sectors they are in, whether in arts, corporate sector, ICT, medicine, law, finance, among others.
“Inspiration is powerful, to recognise and affirm someone on what they are doing has a magical impact,” he said. “The audience should watch this woman who before age 40 is headed to greatness.”
He added that the human brain works in a way that when you are recognised for something well done, it acts as an engine to push you to the next level. He said that the society is not homogeneous and that there is potential in every facet of the society hence the need to nurture talents.
This year’s nomination list had many first-timers. The judges sifted through 460 nominations to come up with the country’s top 40 finalists, up from 320 applicants last year.
Women in charge of larger territories in the corporate world, for instance, scored higher than those in local agencies.
Those fighting their battles and excelling in unique sectors that so far have always been dominated by men were also recognised.
A quarter of the 40 finalists were in their late twenties and early thirties, reflecting the bloom and vitality of Kenya as a breeding ground for young women leaders.
Among those recognised were the youthful Moipei quartet, cancer ambassador Janet Kanini Ikua and the first Kenyan woman with a PhD in Actuarial Science Carolyn Njenga.