When Mucai Kunyiha Chair, Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) was speaking on women’s representation in the manufacturing sector, he noted an important factor in the growth of the sector. “When we think of successful manufacturing companies, we probably think of industries that have optimized their efficiency, development of quality products, and focused on service delivery. Whilst this is true, it is also worth noting the role of inclusivity and diversity in these businesses. The participation of women is critical in driving industrial growth.” He said. Any conversations around increasing our competitiveness as a country without looking at women’s involvement are echoes in a hollow chamber. This is no longer a ‘good conversation to have’; it is an urgent measure that needs to be taken. In a recently released report by the KAM, dubbed ‘Women in Manufacturing Mainstreaming Gender and Inclusion’, while women make up over 55% of the global labour force, they only make up only 22% of the manufacturing labour force. The study also noted that current global trends aim to increase women’s participation in the workforce for increased innovation, creativity, and inclusion. Manufacturing stakeholders in Kenya are increasingly becoming aware of the value of women’s inclusion and full participation in the sector for increased sustainability and
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