For years now, Africa has made considerable strides in ensuring that women are better represented at senior levels, be it in business or government. Statistics show that the continent equals - or even beats - the rest of the world. But there is much that is yet to be done to ensure that women get their share of senior roles, that the barriers they face at the workplace are understood and that the leadership roles they occupy empowers the cause of equality and diversity in the workplace.
Here are the 11 inspiring women HR leaders in Kenya that have committed to transforming the way organizations think and act. Follow them and the inspiring work that they do.
1. Evelyne Munyoki
Evelyne Munyoki is the Chief Human Resources Officer at Kenya Airways, and also a member of the Board. She is a seasoned HR practitioner with years of experience at senior management levels. She has a demonstrated and well-regarded competence in the execution of Human Capital strategy.
Throughout her career, Evelyne has championed the people agenda. Her passion and goal is to work with businesses to address issues of employee engagement and understand the impact it has on organizational performance. Her ability in finding creative and nuanced problems to solutions, and effortlessly adapt to any challenge, makes her a highly skilled HR professional with great prowess.
Evelyne is also a Certified Professional Career Coach (CPCC) and a Certified Executive Leadership Coach (CELC)
2. Diana Gombe
Diane Gombe is the Head of People and Culture - Africa at WWF International. She is also and accredited Executive Coach and mentor, who leads by example when it comes to understanding the meaning of ‘people’ and ‘human’ in the realm of people management. Diana is an astute HR and Business strategist with a strong track record building and aligning business operations towards excellence, by providing creative and innovative solutions.
3. Sylviah Omieno
Sylviah Omieno is the Senior HR Business Partner at Coca-Cola Beverages Africa. Like her peers on this list, Sylviah is also a seasoned HR professional with over 15 years of experience in the field (and counting!), and which includes more than 8 years in senior management positions.
She is a champion for employee wellness, organizational agility, and the future of work. Apart from her capabilities in Employee relations and strategic business management, Sylviah likes to spend her time outside of work by trying out new recipes, reading, travelling and listening to music.
4. Angela Mwenderani
Angela Mwenderani is the Head of Human Resources at Diani. He is a member of the IHRM Kenya and a career mentor with the Simama Outreach Programme. With a natural versatility, charisma, and the ability to thrive well in fast-moving environments, Angela has the natural talent to identify and understand needs and objectives and translate them into effective, result-driven solutions.
5. Dorcas Nderitu
Dorcas Nderitu is the Co-founder of Women in HR Kenya, where the primary goal is to empower women and coach them to be great leaders in their workplace. Dorcas is an HRM Certified Professional & Talent Management Advisor. She enjoys managing people, especially with regard to succession planning. She is a Global Recruitment Specialist and has vast experience in designing and developing acquisition strategies and collaborating with hiring managers to find the right fit.
Knowledgeable in the inner workings of full-cycle recruitment and delivering on challenging recruitment projects, dorcas is passionate about building high functioning teams.
6. Pauline Kiraithe
Pauline Kiraithe is the CEO and Founder of Talentgurus@254, a Multi-Global HR and Coaching award winner, Thought Leader, and Human Potential Catalyst. After 20 years in the Corporate spread, she founded Talentgurus@254 as a professional services consultancy for training and coaching individuals and organizations to tap into their key resource - their talent.
Pauline is a resourceful, adaptable, and proactive Senior Human Resource Management Professional with vast and notable experience in leading strategic HR projects across the HR landscape, and has demonstrable success in implementing talent development programs, performance management programs, and recognition programs, among others.
7. Mercy Karanja
Mercy Karanja is the Senior Human Resources Partner at Kibanda TopUp. Mercy’s love of Ugali, Sukuma, and beef fry is surpassed only by her passion for people. She has grown and shaped high-performing teams at large and small industries with the aid of progressive technical resources and robust development programs.
Mercy is a committed HR practitioner and has the ability and drive to employ effective practices to attract and retain high-potential talent. She is skilled at developing executable strategy that motivates teams individually to achieve and exceed corporate objectives.
8. Damaris Ndungwa
Damaris Ndungwa is the Lead Strategist of Learning and Development at Blue Concepts Africa. She is resourceful and has immense experience in Instructional Design and Learning Project Facilitation, and has been selected to mead learning programs and team productivity engagements for organizations like World bank, African Development Bank, ICRAF, AGRA, Ford Foundation, and many other development oriented NGOs, SMEs, and Blue Chip companies, globally.
Damaris is passionate about people and organizational development. She is an expert in high-performance team building and invests immensely in the right strategy in delivering effective leadership development.
9. Mercy Lepariyo
Mercy Lepariyo is the VP of Human Resources at Kukuabiz. Her focus and passion is on matching the right talent to the right task and working environment. She believes that investing in the right training and knowledge delivery methods will be conducive to creating a great learning environment in an organization.
In addition to that, her key strength is her energy and ability to understand issues faced by the individual and the organization within the remote work environment.
10. Jebet Chesiyna Odhiambo
Jebet Chesiyna Odhiambo is the Director of Human Resources at Hilton Worldwide. A consummate HR professional with a successful track record of 18 years in the Human Resources function, Jebet is one of those rare leaders who stands out for her skills & abilities and serves as an inspiring mentor to her whole staff.
Jebet has incredibly good negotiation and conflict management skills, coupled by her approachability and communication skills, which enables her to work effectively under pressure, motivate employees, and achieve superior results.
11. Virginia Mbiriri
Virginia Mbiriri is the Group Human Resources Manager at Artcaffe Coffee and Bakery+ ECP. Virginia has a vibrant career spanning over 10 years in multidisciplinary human resource management, and has amassed a wealth of knowledge on HR matters, change management and organizational redesign.
Virginia’s strong leadership skills have enabled her to nurture an environment of recognition and value, while her notable track record has equipped her with the ability to strategically steer HR business agendas effectively.