Kenya: How Safaricom is promoting gender diversity at the workplace, including friendly maternity policy & equal employment opportunities

Author: Nga'nga[ Mbugua, Business Daily (Kenya), Published on: 10 May 2019

"Collymore: What we’re doing to empower women at Safaricom"

Safaricom  is not only the most profitable company in Kenya — having made Sh63.9 billion in net profit in the last financial year — but it is also trailblazing when it comes to the way firms treat women and mothers in the workplace. For instance, more than half of its employees — 51 per cent — are women. And the telecoms operator now requires that at least 50 per cent of all candidates shortlisted for any position must be women. But that is not all.

When a woman employee returns from maternity leave, she is retained on full pay but allowed to work fewer and more flexible hours until her baby is six months old and ready to wean. And should the need arise, the company has a baby care centre within its premises in Westlands, Nairobi where any employee is free to take their child until they clock out. Should the baby fall sick, there is an inhouse clinic to take care of their medical needs. Despite these strides, however, more women than men still fall off the ladder the higher they climb. Now, the company's chief executive, Bob Collymore, has made a commitment that by the end of 2020, there will be as many women in Safaricom's corner offices as there will be men.

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Related companies: Safaricom