October 28, 2022 – 100 Women in Finance (“100WF”), a global non-profit finance industry organization, yesterday marked the formal launch of its Kenya – East Africa location by ringing the closing bell at Nairobi Securities Exchange and a cocktail reception at Global Trade Center, Nairobi, sponsored by Absa, a 100WF global corporate sponsor. 100WF operates in 32 locations globally, including three locations on the African continent.
100WF’s global network and programs build a more diverse and gender-equitable finance industry by promoting diversity of thought, raising visibility, and empowering women to find their personal path to career success. 100WF’s guiding principle, Vision 30/40, aims to increase the percentage of women in investment and executive leadership roles to 30% by 2040.
With the Kenya – East Africa location now operational, 100WF will deepen its reach to finance professionals across the banking, private equity, venture capital, and FinTech sectors, among others, in Africa.
Amanda Pullinger, CEO, 100WF, commented: “We are excited for the growth opportunity in Kenya – East Africa to connect individuals locally and across the globe around key themes of industry education and development of the next generation of professionals. I was honored to attend a series of exploratory events at the end of last year to grow awareness of 100WF’s mission, highlight the growing percentage of senior women occupying high-level roles within the Kenyan finance industry, and provide women in finance a platform to be visible. I am grateful to Absa for sponsoring the Kenya-East Africa launch event and for supporting 100WF’s mission and vision by being a global corporate sponsor. Absa’s dedication to increasing the representation of women in finance and the percentage of women in leadership positions is vital to the success of our mission and we wholeheartedly thank them for their steadfast support. Thanks also to Nairobi Securities Exchange and Global Trade Center for hosting 100 Women in Finance’s launch.”
Speaking about the launch, Absa Group Managing Executive, Transactional Banking and Executive Sponsor Banking on Women Absa, Yasmin Masithela commented: “It is an absolute delight to see our vision and partnership with 100WF come alive in Africa through the Kenya -East Africa launch. This is a milestone event in our partnership and signifies the importance we collectively place on accelerating the representation and advancement of economic empowerment of women in the financial services sector, providing them with leadership opportunities and harnessing partnerships that will enable us to achieve our goals regarding gender equity. As Absa, our strategic direction is to be a positive and visible force for good on all issues impacting ESG principles, but especially those that impact women, whilst maintaining the highest forms of governance and ethics in doing so. We once again congratulate 100WF on this milestone achievement!”
On his part, Yusuf Omari, Interim CEO, Absa Bank Kenya PLC said: “As a Financial Services Group, the Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) agenda is embedded at the core of Absa’s strategy. Our intention is to be an Active Force for Good in everything we do. ESG cuts across various aspects where women are related, whether that is access to finance, creating awareness around social impact and barriers that have a disproportionately adverse impact on women. We underpin our role in society on the pillars of inclusive finance, environmental sustainability, education and skills development, and a just society. That is why as a Global Corporate sponsor of 100 Women in Finance, we are truly excited about our partnership, given our alignment in objectives and opportunity to reach an even broader cohort of women globally and in Africa.”
At the Nairobi Securities Exchange, Geoffrey Odundo, Chief Executive Officer, Nairobi Securities Exchange welcomed guests and before ringing the closing bell, invited guests listened to a recorded message from Dr. Dambisa Moyo, whose generous grant enabled 100WF to explore 100WF locations in Africa. Watch this message below:
Dr. Patrick Njoroge, Governor of the Central Bank of Kenya, was in attendance and gave a keynote, as did Jeremy Awori, outgoing Chief Executive Officer, Absa Bank Kenya, and Adero Okudo, Managing Partner, Catalyze Capital and 100 Women in Finance Kenya-East Africa Committee Co-Chair. Rina Hicks, Operations Director at Faida Investment Bank and 100 Women in Finance Kenya-East Africa committee member, was master of ceremonies.
Adero Okudo commented: “We are thrilled to be launching in Nairobi today and are excited about the journey ahead to grow 100 Women in Finance’s network in Kenya and East Africa. The conversations we’ve had and the work that we’ve done leading up to today have reinforced my belief that this is the perfect time for 100WF in East Africa. I’m looking forward to the great impact that we will have.”
This was followed by a cocktail reception at Global Trade Center where keynotes were given by Mumbi Kahindo, People and Culture Director, Absa Bank Kenya and Constantine Kandie, Executive Director, MIDA Advisors East Africa. Other speakers were Dr. Patrick Njoroge, Gong Yuxian, General Manager, Avic International Real Estate Kenya, and Mphokolo Makara, Head Energy and Infrastructure East Africa, Standard Bank Group and 100 Women in Finance Kenya-East Africa committee member. Colleagues in the finance industry had the opportunity to network with their peers and make new connections as they learnt about 100 Women in Finance, its mission and Vision 30/40, the power of peer networks and how to get involved with 100WF in Kenya – East Africa and globally.
100WF membership is open to all and we invite members of all genders, students at the university and graduate level, those in the early stages of their careers, and all the way up to the most experienced, senior levels of investment and executive leadership. Members can access in-person and virtual events in all our global locations.
View the recording of Dr. Dambisa Moyo’s conversation with Amanda Pullinger in the 100WF On Demand section of the Member Area. If you are not already a member, join 100WF today to be part of our global-networking finance community, and to receive invitations to 100WF events in Kenya – East Africa and around the world.
100WF’s Kenya-East Africa Committee is planning events for 2023. If you would like to suggest topics, speakers or sponsor/host an event for 100WF, please contact us.