Kenyan Women in Manufacturing #PressForProgress

The World Economic Forum’s 2017 Global Gender Gap Report says that gender parity is over 200 years away.

For me this is a time to keep motivated and #PressforProgress by working toward increasing the number of women like me who work in the manufacturing industry.

Manufacturing is the only guaranteed way for Kenya to increase the number of people earning substantial wages because of strong backward and forward linkages with other sectors in the economy. The more people have reliable and stable jobs, the more they can afford their basic needs.

Outdated and often wrong opinions of manufacturing have impacted women’s desires to join the ranks of manufacturers. One of the ways of increasing the presence of women in manufacturing is a “push-pull” effort – with the “pull” responsibility lying with the employers themselves. We cannot build supply without first creating a robust demand.

Florence Kendi started as a Cleaner, elevated to a Trimmer and Packer and now she is an Assistant Machine Operator at Plast Packaging Industries. She is part of our apprenticeship program that seeks to offer her and other women a path to a rewarding, better level job within this dynamic and cutting-edge industry.


Plast Packaging Industries Limited is a signatory of The UN Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEP), a set of principles for business offering guidance on how to empower women in the workplace, marketplace and community.

Read more on the journey of Florence Kendi and other women I have had the honour of working with and how they are making positive gains day by day as we #PressForProgress :

Florence Kendi (23 yrs)

JemimahRose Muthoni (22 yrs)

Belinda Syokau Kimondo (44 yrs)

There is no one solution for addressing the talent gap in the manufacturing industry. The discussion around talent must include a holistic and collaborative approach to alignment, attraction, and retention, including programs that reach untapped talent in this field. Communities, educators, and employers that proactively implement these initiatives will come closer to bridging the manufacturing talent gap and set themselves up for success in the future.

Kenya Association of Manufacturers launched the Women in Manufacturing Programme in year 2017. This is a mentorship and networking platform aimed at increasing the participation of women in the manufacturing sector as part of the drive to industrialize for a stable and sustainable economic future for Kenya.

This increased participation will happen when more women in manufacturing attract more women to manufacturing. I am excited and looking forward to the Women in Manufacturing Gala Dinner #WIMKe on 23 March 2018, a platform to show women the huge opportunities in this sector, to pave the way for more women in the future, and to ensure the continued success of our Kenyan manufacturing industry.




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