Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Top 40 Women under 40

The Business Daily recently published the 2014 Top 40 Women under 40 .
Business Daily, in the past six years, has invited its readers to nominate women aged under 40 who in their view have made significant achievements in whatever segment of our society and economy. A panel of judges then sifts through the entries and picks out the outstanding nominees. They recognise top women in Kenya who have scaled the professional ladder, run remarkable businesses or pursued their passion with enormous zeal. The list goes beyond the basic list of fame and influence to interrogating each candidate’s ingenuity, performance and staying power in whatever they do. To say that it is an honour to be featured in this list is an understatement. It is a great accolade, feted to the cream of the cream in different sectors.

Here are a few statistics from this year's top 40 women. I would like you to observe the numbers:
Profile of Age:
35- 40years: 44%
30-34years: 30%
25-30years: 22%
18-24years: 4%
What the women said about factors leading to success:
Focus and determination to succeed: 89%
Hard work: 44%
Good career mentors: 37%
International experience provided a stepping stone: 30%
Achieving KPIs and excelling: 30%
Work experience: 15%
Hours per week worked:
19-16 hours: 4%
25-32 hours: 4%
33-40 hours: 41%
41-50 hours: 26%
51-70 hours: 15%
No specific hours: 11%
The nominees work long hours with at least 52% of them working over 40hours in a given week. There are those that work up to 70 hours in a given week

Here is the list of the Top 40 Women under 40
1.   Captain Irene Mutungi- Pilot, Kenya Airways, 36
2.   Ory Okolloh- Director of Investments, Omidyar Media, 36
3.   Risper Ohaga- Managing Director, Barclays Internal Audit, 39
4.   Juliana Rotich- Founder and Director, Ushahidi, 38
5.   Anne Ncekei Maingi- Head of Strategic Capability and Modern Trade, Unilever Nigeria, 39
6.   Alfetta Mungai Koome- Country Manager, Firstrand Bank, 39
7.   Sylvia Wairimu Mulinge- General Manager for Enterprise Business, Safaricom, 38
8.   Agatha Kigunda- Head of Software and Services, Intel Corporation, 38
9.   Caroline Wanja Owesi- Chief Financial Officer, Jubilee Insurance Tanzania, 38
10. Anne Gitao- Head of Marketing for Africa, Vivo Energy, 39
11. Mukami Njeru- Resident Actuary, CIC Insurance Group, 29
12. Esther Macharia Chibesa- Director, Treasury and Trade Solutions, Citibank Kenya, 38
13. Becky Mungai- Head of Finance and Administration, Signature Group, 38
14. Magdalene Mulandi- Head of Brand Management and Corporate Affairs, Chase Bank, 33
15. Dorcas Muthoni- Techpreneur, 34
16. Mariam Mpaata- Founder, Junior Star Youth Development Programme, 36
17. Christine Khasina Odero- Founder, Supamamas, 33
18. Kate Kibarah- MD and CEO, Kate Organics, 33
19. Laura Akunga- Founder, Benchmark Solutions, 28
20. Elizabeth Simiyu- Health and Fitness Enterpreneur, 34
21. Charity Mutegi- Aflatoxin Maize Researcher, 39
22. Wanjiru Kamau- Rutenberg- Doctor, 36
23. Sheila Ommeh- Medical Researcher, 36
24. Lupita Nyong’o- Film and Fashion Queen, Oscar Award Winner, 31
25. Alison Ngibuini- Film and TV Programmes Producer, 38
26. Dorothy Ghettuba- Media Mogul, 35
27. Agnes Muthoni Ndonga- Singer and Songwriter, 31
28. Esther Kinuthia- Blogger, 21
29. Lornah Kiplagat- World class athlete, Proprietor of High Altitude Training Centre in Iten, 39
30. Malaika Firth- Model, Catwalk Queen, 20
31. Lois Muraguri- Scientist and Deputy Director, Global Alliance Network for Livestock and Veterinary Medicine, UK, 38
32. Anne Kiunuhe- Partner, Anjarwalla and Khanna, 33
33. Sara Koki Kinagwi- Medical Doctor, 38
34. Catherine Syengo Mutisya- Psychiatrist, 39
35. Mugure Njendu- Architect, 33
36. Joy Mbuthia- Entrepreneur, 38
37. Sumra Rehmet- MD, Roma Company Limited, 27
38. Christine Kahema Muthui- Legal Entity Controller for East, Central and West Africa, 34
39. Josephine Kamanthe Ndambuki- Senior Engineer, Transport and IP Support, Safaricom, 31
40. Lydia Ndirangu- Senior Tax Advocate, KPMG, 29

This post is a challenge to YOU (whether male or female) and ME. What is stopping you from being the best you can be in whatever you do? We can not wait till our 30s to scale those heights, the time is NOW. Who said we cant bring down that age bracket?  I was so impressed to see Esther Kinuthia (22 years)  and Malaika Firth (20years) in this year's list. Next year same time,  I hope to see at least a quarter of that list made up of many young people.

But just to point out, there are plenty of outstanding women and men out there doing phenomenal things who do not feature in any rankings. One need not feature on a list to make a mark. The challenge is: wherever you are, BE THE BEST YOU CAN BE!


  1. I love this bit:One need not feature on a list to make a mark. The challenge is: wherever you are, BE THE BEST YOU CAN BE!Awesome stuff.

  2. such an inspiring post. I'm happy there were people from the arts and entertainment industry on the list. this proves that wherever you are...say it with me now... YOUR DREAMS ARE

  3. Indeed focus and determination validate any dream

  4. From your article I have noticed that most of these champions work averagely 7 hrs per day for(assuming)six days a week. The subject of working smarter rather than working harder comes into play here- getting more done in an hour and resting for two. Its inspirational to see young people make it into such ranks, we should all feel challenged and act upon it.

    Once again Lydia, thanks for the beautiful article. keep 'em comin!


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