Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) together with UN Women today held the third Women in Manufacturing Forum themed ‘Why gender inclusivity is smart business’ targeting women entrepreneurs, business owners and leaders in the manufacturing sector.
The theme aimed to address current issues that hamper industrialization such as the wage gap, skills gap and access to global markets for local women-owned companies.
Women contribute 55% of the labour force worldwide but only 22% in Manufacturing due to various barriers. Through the Women in Manufacturing Forum (WIM) KAM seeks to to grow, challenge and mentor women owned industries to scale up and realize their potential. This part of how as industry we are addressing these gaps in inclusion and diversity.
Speaking at the Forum, UN Women Country Director, Ms. Zebib Kavuma noted that gender equality is smart economics. “Women do an average of 75 percent of unpaid work that is valued at 10 trillion dollars. We need to find a way to define and recognize the contribution of women to the economy in both the informal and formal sectors,” added Ms. Kavuma.
KAM Chairlady, Ms. Flora Mutahi pointed out that the success of the manufacturing sector is dependent on our approach in increasing competitiveness, building capability and connectedness, towards the growth of our economy.
“The Women In Manufacturing Programme seeks to reinvigorate the local manufacturing sector that is currently weakened by a dire lack of skills. By equipping, educating, mentoring and building networks for women, the programme will be able to provide the necessary skills and talent to take our industry to the next level,” added Ms. Mutahi.
The WIM programme looks to inform policies that address the gaps that exist between current interventions by government and other stakeholders and the ability for small and medium enterprises to access them.