We are living in interesting times now. There is a lot of focus on women in the workplace. The diversity agenda is under fire and women are at the core of it, equal pay, equal opportunity, women on boards.
However, one sector that is still behind when it comes to having women at the top is the manufacturing sector.
Women are underrepresented and underutilized in the manufacturing workforce. Despite making up about half of all workers overall, they account for less than one-third of manufacturing workers.
Interestingly, manufacturing continues to grow. It now accounts for approximately 16 per cent of global GDP and 14 per cent of employment.
Bridging that divide will mean reshaping the way people think about jobs in manufacturing, educating them to the types of jobs that are available and helping them get the qualifications necessary to fill them.
Put simply, the manufacturing industry is in a state of reinvention, and exciting, educating and empowering women will be critical to the future of the industry.
Women represent one of the largest pools of untapped talent for manufacturers and closing manufacturing’s gender gap is key to closing the skills gap that has limited businesses’ ability to evolve and expand.
In addition to filling open positions, though, research shows that gender diversity benefits manufacturing firms by creating a culture that improves their ability to innovate and grow.
And more than just bottom lines, women in manufacturing are building meaningful careers—and quite literally building the future.
With this in mind, a question we beg to ask is: why are we looking at a lack of women in the manufacturing industry? And more importantly, what can we do now to see a significant change in these numbers?
After months of waiting, we are back next month with the #AfterOfficeHours series event!
Join us for our first virtual After-Office Hours with Phyllis Wakiaga, CEO Kenya Association of Manufacturers on Thursday 5th November from 4:30 pm.
Phyllis will share her journey in business and the challenges women in the manufacturing sector face. She will also share what KAM is doing to bridge the gender gap through the Women in Manufacturing Program that aims to, enhance market access for women industrialists in Kenya, provide an enabling environment for them and improve their competitiveness locally, regionally and globally.
You do not want to miss out on this. RSVP your attendance here and see you then!
You can also join the conversation live via: https://meet.google.com/wif-nhxr-nmy
Phyllis Wakiaga is the Chief Executive of the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM), which is the credible voice of the industry with over 1000 members.
She is an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya and holds a Masters in International Trade and Investment Law at the University of Nairobi, Masters in Business Administration from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Bachelor of Law Degree from the University of Nairobi, Diploma in Law from Kenya School of Law, and a Higher Diploma in Human Resource Management from the Institute of Human Resources Management Kenya.
She began her career in 2005 as a Legal Assistant 2005 at Otieno Omunga and Ouma Advocates. She then joined Kenya Airways (KQ) in 2007, as a customer relations executive, serving in that capacity for three years.
She was then appointed a coordinator of government and industry affairs at KQ. Later she became the manager of the Government and Industry Affairs Division at the airline.
In 2013, she joined the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM), as the Head of Policy, Research and Advocacy and became Chief Executive Officer in 2015.
Phyllis is an alumnus of the Swedish Institute Management Program on Sustainable Business Leadership and Corporate Social Responsibility and was part of the inaugural program for Africa in 2014.
She has also been trained in the Role of the Private Sector in Government Policy by Strathmore Business School and John Hopkins University; Investment Treaty Law and Arbitration – Africa International Legal Awareness (AILA) UK London and High-Performance Boardrooms- Institute of Directors.
Phyllis represents KAM on various boards and chairs the Kenya Water Industrial Alliance. She is also the United Nations Global Compact Network Representative in Kenya.
She was also recognized among the Top Africa Economic Leaders for Tomorrow on the Choiseul 100 Africa list 2018 and one of the 2019 Most Influential People of African Descent, Global 100 Under 40.