Monday, 6 November 2017

2017 Top 40 under 40 Women Series

When the 2017 list of Top 40 Under 40 Women was unveiled this year, I was so excited to see the women featuring in this year’s list. I drew SO much inspiration from the stories of these women in Kenya and I honestly hoped to channel this inspiration into my blog- to share stories that would uplift, inspire and encourage. This year’s list did not disappoint in as far as inspiration goes!

I then got an exciting but rather ambitious idea to run an amazing series featuring the stories of this year’s nominees. I look at this as a labour of love, passion and determination to share only the best and most uplifting content. This series seeks to inspire just one person; to have at least one point of influence! 

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure- Marianne Williamson 

Before we get started, and for the benefit of those who may not be familiar with what the Top 40 under 40 list is, let me give some background. J

What is the Top 40 under 40 Women Award?
The Top 40 under 40 Women Award is an annual award which recognizes the top 40 women across the country doing great things, smashing the quintessential glass ceiling and going against all odds to emerge top in their chosen fields. The list of women is generated by Kenya’s top business newspaper, Business Daily. Business Daily has been running this for the past nine years (imagine that!)

What is the process of identifying the Top 40 women?
As you would imagine the process is intense! Business Daily invites applications from the general public to nominate exceptional women. A carefully constituted panel of judges then assesses all applications to identify outstanding women across Kenya. After the selection, Business Daily ascertains each candidate’s age, data on the size of the enterprise they have founded, companies they work for, scope and complexity of what they do and competitive landscape of their respective industries.

Who are this year’s Top 40 under 40 women?
Here is the list of this year’s Top 40 women to watch:
1.       Naomi Rono- World Bank Advisor, Africa Group, 34
2.       Ciku Mugambi- Investment analyst at International Finance Corporation (Venture Capital), 29
3.       Caroline Wambugu- Head of Financial Decision Support, VP, Barclays Bank of Kenya, 37
4.       Dr. Borna Nyaoke-Anoke- Clinical Trials Manager, Kenya Aids Vaccine Initiative (KAVI) Institute of Clinical Research, University of Nairobi, 30
Dr. Borna Nyaoke-Anoke

5.       Wariara Wairera Waireri- Co-Founder and Director, E-lab Africa, 30
6.       LeAnne Peris- Owner, Diner en Blanc Nairobi, 27
7.       Umra Omar- Founder, Safari Doctors, 34
Umra Omar

8.       Nina Galot Thacker- Commercial Director, London Distillers Kenya, 38
9.       Emily Orwaru- Aeronautical Planning Engineer, Kenya Airways, 29
10.   Dr. Shitsama Nyamweya- Neurosurgeon, Kenyatta National Hospital, 32
11.   Sheila Mwarangu- Partner, Gathara& Partners Consulting Civil and Structures Engineers, 38
12.   Carol Ng'ang'a- Founder, Held Sister, 32
Carol Ng'ang'a

13.   Irene Tulel- Project Manager, UNDP, 36
14.   Valentine Nekesa- Founder, V-Designs, 20
15.   Joyce Wanderi- Maina- Chief Operating Officer, Population Services Kenya, 38
16.   Nelly Tuikong- Founder and CEO, Pauline Cosmetics, 32
17.   Sitah Lang'o- Regional Manager, Swift East Africa, 34
18.   Fridah Muchina- Regional Head of Human Resources, Nestle Equatorial Africa Region, 39
19.   Lisa Mugure- Ex-civil engineer, China Communication and Construction Company (CCCC), 25
20.   Gladys Cherono- International Athlete, Winner of Berlin Marathon, 34
21.   Salome Gathoni- IT Programme Leader, General Electric Digital, 39
22.   Marion Atieno Moon- Founder and Managing Director, Wanda Organic Limited, 33
23.   Mbula Musau- Independent Consultant and Founder, Utake Coffee, 37
24.   Angela Githuthu- Ngaamba- Safaricom Youth Segment Lead, 37
25.   Mary Mueni Ngui- Group Head of Risk and Compliance, Resolution Insurance, 33
26.   Simaloi Dajom- Deputy Programmes Director, Royal Media Services, 35
27.   Iddah Asin- Director Government Affairs and Policy, Johnson & Johnson, 34
28.   Dr Stellah Wairimu Bosire- Otieno- CEO, Kenya Medical Association, 31
29.   Felisters Gitau-Mutugu- Head of Sales Operations, Farmers Choice, 31
30.   Caroline Mtai- Senior Prosecution Counsel, Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), 37
31.   Rachael Gitonga- CFO, East Africa Reinsurance, 36
32.   Angela Ndambuki- CEO, Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI), 37
33.   Caroline Makenzi- Consultant, Climate Focus, 30
34.   Natalie Robi Tingo- Founder, Msichana Empowerment Kuria, 27
35.   Patricia Seroney- Partner, Deloitte, 39
36.   Margaret Achieng' Oyugi- Head of Actuarial, Resolution Insurance, 33
  Margaret Achieng' Oyugi

37.   Silvia Tonui Sambili- Founder, Marigat Gold, 32
38.   Martha Mbugua- Partner, Hamilton Harrison& Mathews, 32
39.   Dr Anne Musuva- Deputy Chief of Party, Population Services Kenya, 35
40.   Caroline Somba- Financial Controller, National Oilwell Varco, 29
  Caroline Somba

Here are some fun facts from this year’s list
1.       A little analysis on the different ages of these women showed this 
Women aged between:            Percentage of women on the list
20-25 years                                                           5%
26-30 years                                                          20%
31-35 years                                                          43%
36-40 years                                                          33%

(I hope that you can identify with an age bracket here! Meaning YOU can do it, age isn’t a factor! J)
2.       The youngest winner is 20 years old and the eldest is 39.
3.       Approximately 25% of the women are founders and CEOs of their respective enterprises.

I hope this series sparks a fire in you, and more than that, I hope it inspires deliberate and conscious action towards becoming the greatest version of yourself and achieving your fullest potential.

Let’s kick off this series..shall we?


  1. No 12 was my School Captain in Highschool.

    1. Wow, that's fantastic! she's doing such amazing work.

  2. The youngest is 20?! This is truly an inspiring read and I love how you have analysed the age bracket; it really puts everything in perspective and shows us that age is not a factor when it comes to success.

    1. 20..Can you imagine that! She's doing very well for herself. Definitely inspiring a lot of us.

  3. Can’t wait to get into the details of their success! 😊

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