By Our Reporter
KCB Group PLC, East Africa’s largest financial institution by assets is keen to deepen its focus towards the women agenda in the coming years for a gender balanced world.
The Bank has placed prominence in driving initiatives around gender parity and inclusion, in line with its sustainability agenda which is anchored on building a responsible business for the future.
On Friday, to mark the International Women’s Day, KCB rolled out a campaign as a statement that amplifies the Group’s commitment towards gender inclusion.
The highlight of the campaign— themed Hear her Roar—has seen the Bank temporarily refresh its corporate logo from a Lion to a Lioness, marking a significant turning point in the advocacy for more gender inclusion in the region’s financial services sector. The campaign, is running across KCB regional network in Kenya, Tanzania, South Sudan, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi.
“We have been deliberate in our operations to ensure that we push for gender parity at all levels within the institution. We are alive to the importance and benefits of a gender balanced world where we have equal opportunities in the working environment” said the KCB Group CEO and MD Joshua Oigara.
“We are taking a bold and sincere step using our brand asset; to reiterate our promise for the advancement of gender equality and the empowerment
of women particularly through financial inclusion solutions and equal opportunities at the corporate and commercial touch points. Through the campaign,” said Mr Oigara.
Through the lender’s Sustainability Agenda and specifically on the Talent management and Diversity action point, KCB has continued to measure progress and adopt initiatives under the Women in Leadership Network (WILN), an internal KCB Group initiative meant to grow women leaders.
The WILN programme so far reached 550 women staff who have gone through a two year programme of self-awareness, mentorship, coaching and leadership skills. In the year 2018, KCB staff complement in terms of gender balance stood at 50:50, a milestone achieved ahead of its 2020 target. Through this programme, over 100 women have been promoted in 2017 and 2018.
In addition, KCB has various initiatives in the business to support women entrepreneurs, credit facilities to women and persons with disability under the KCB Foundation in an effort to build a more inclusive society in our business.
The Women in Business Programme has attracted 1,439 women for capacity building and the Bank extended business support worth Kshs 5.16 billion to this category in 2018. Under community initiatives, the KCB Foundation supported 164 children and youth under the disability programme and 10,000 young women have been trained under the 2jiajiri programme.
Across the region KCB Group has actively engaged in various women empowerment programs and was among the first signatories of the UN’s Women’s Empowerment Principles.
Findings from the Women Aspiration Survey commissioned by renowned communications agency Oxygène MCL—the firm behind the campaign— for KCB revealed that career advancement and the desire to own a business are the two main aspirational spaces that women under the age of 35 aspire for.
Empowering women in the economy and closing gender gaps in the world of work are therefore key to achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (SDG). The bank adopted eight SDGs of which Goal No. 1- no poverty, Goal No. 8 – decent work and economic growth and Goal No. 10 – reduced inequality, are directly corelated to the gender parity conversation. Evidence of the crucial role that KCB Group advocates for the gender parity agenda.
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