It has been observed since the early 1900s and it is not affiliated with any one group, but brings together governments, women’s organisations, corporations and charities.
This year the event was themed: ‘Think equal, build smart, innovate for change’. The focus of the theme is on innovative ways in which to advance gender equality and the empowerment of women, particularly in the areas of social protection systems, access to public services and sustainable infrastructure.
To celebrate this day at Nairobi Garage, we have put together a list of 13 women that are fierce and have gone beyond different barriers to lead, innovate of create organisations that are curving a niche in their areas of expertise
Catherine Gicheru: Director Code for Africa
Catherine Gicheru is a trail-blazing journalist and the founding editor of the Star newspaper. She was the first woman to hold top positions in the history of the Kenyan print media. She is also a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University, a Reuters Institute Journalism fellow at Oxford University. In 1992, she was awarded the International Women’s Media Foundation Courage in Journalism Award.
Pauline Kiraithe: Founder and Director of Talent Gurus@254
At the age of 27 Pauline had made it to the C-level and Director level at 37 years. Before Talent Gurus she was the HR Director at Standard Media Group and was also named 2017 Top 100 Global Training and Development Leader. She has also worked with other huge companies including Nation Media Group and Uchumi.
Wanjiku Koinange: COO & head of music at Mdundo
Mdundo is defined as Africa’s Spotify and through Wanjiku’s leadership, the company has grown and forged big partnerships with world leading brands like WARNER Brothers
Muthoni Wanyoike: Team Lead Nairobi Instadeep
An actuarial science graduate from Dedan Kimathi University, Muthoni Wanyoike is one of the great brains behind the Women in Machine Learning and Data Science community Nairobi chapter, (WiMLDS) Kenya where she is building a community of Data Scientists and Machine Learning experts
In her words: “Technology is creating new opportunities for women each day to break barriers and be the best versions of themselves. #BalanceforBetter “
Cynthia Wandia: Founder and CEO Kwara
A graduate of the Yale University, Cynthia Wandia is the CEO and Founder of Kwara. She was named in 2018 by Business Daily Africa as one of the Kenya Top 40 Under 40 Women.
Caroline Kagotho: General Manager Nairobi Garage
Caroline began at the Garage as an Accountant, and has grown to the level of General Manager at Nairobi Garage. Holding Bachelor of Science focused in Entrepreneurship studies from Moi University, Caroline – who’s been with Nairobi Garage for almost five years – has been a central part of the company’s growth. With recently opening a third location, and being one of the largest co-working spaces in Africa, Caroline has seen first hand what it takes to build a team for scale.
In her words: “We are in a place where women belong everywhere and there shouldn’t be an exception. As we celebrate incredible women across the world creating impact in one way or another, I look forward to a world where we will not only have women leaders but we will just have leaders and we do not have to be defined by our gender. #Balanceforbetter”
Sonia Kabra: Co-founder and Director Buupass
Sonia describes herself as a scientist turned entrepreneur who uses her analytical mind and empathetic user perspective to drive the product vision and roadmap for a technology for transport business in Kenya.
Under her leadership, BuuPass won Hult Prize 2016, the world’s largest student competition for social good that awards 1M USD in seed funding.
Kendi Perpetual: Managing Partner Addlestone PR and Marketing.
Kendi, is keen at connecting brands to the world through strategic marketing campaigns as well as Media and Public relations. In an industry that is quite competitive, Addleston PR through her leadership has been able to secure huge clients such as Machakos County, Schneider Electric, Credit Bank among others
Bitanya Woldu: Founder BOTA-Design
Having worked in the US for more than a decade, Bitanya moved to East Africa in 2013 where she led the first competition for the launch of World Bank’s Climate Innovation Center in Ethiopia, creating a pipeline of cleantech companies and ideas in various industries that have the potential to dramatically change their sector.
Ruby Au: Business Development Lead at Endless, Inc. | Founder and CEO at Lumen Labs
Ruby is credited with leading Endless Solution’s entry into the African market and afterwards forging their partnership with PayGo and other Solar providers across the continent to provide computer access to off-grid and last-mile users.
Mercy Achola: Founder and CEO Value Connect
Based both in Kenya and Dubai, through her company, Value Connect Mercy helps connect and create linkages between investors and business partners in the United Arab Emirates and African countries.
Winnie Badia: Co-Founder & CEO, WazInsure
Winnie is an actuarial professional with expertise in insurance intermediaries, audit firm and asset management. She is also the Founder of GrassRoots Bima, a company that promotes financial inclusion by matching customers with micro-insurance products.
The company was named among the top 100 financial technology (fintech) firms globally a year after it was founded. It was placed at position 76 by financial services firm KPMG Fintech and investment firm H2 Ventures in the 2017 Fintech100 leading global fintech innovators report.
Victoria Peill: Head of ALX at African Leadership University
Miss Victoria Pielle has had quite a career journey. She started off her career at Apple in Madrid. Before becoming the head of ALX at African Leadership University (ALU), Miss Victoria was the Chief of Staff at ALU, a consultant in the Boston Consulting Group,an American multinational management consulting firm with more than 90 offices in 50 countries and the co-founder and head of program at Mentor Me India, a mentoring organisation based in Mumbai, building a one on one enduring relationship between a child and a mentor.
It is evident that these women in one way or another are living up to this year’s theme. As the world celebrates International Women’s Day, we celebrate these women’s achievements and tenaciously challenging bias. And the next time probably you are looking for mentors in business, you definitely know the space you should be in.
Want to join our growing business network? Book a tour today at any of our branches and check out our amazing packages!