Put women in leadership and management, media houses urged 

NAIROBI, April 4, 2019: The women who currently occupy leadership positions within the media have been cited as an incentive for younger generations to seek and aspire to join the industry and take up senior roles.

This was the highlight of discussions between media practitioners and stakeholders at a breakfast meeting convened by the Aga Khan University Graduate School of Media and Communications (GSMC).

The meeting attended by editors, reporters and media students from different universities was held to deliberate on the status of women in media leadership in Kenya. It was noted that despite a rise in the number of women in media leadership, they are still a minority in the profession.

“Gender imbalance in the newsroom has a historical and cultural foundation, but change is happening,” said Joseph Odindo, a seasoned media practitioner, “currently, the digital revolution has favored women but they need to acquire the necessary skills to operate in the new landscape.”

The panel session focused on the challenges women face in attaining leadership positions with calls for policies to support balanced gender representation across all levels.

Pamela Sittoni, Executive Editor at the Daily Nation said, “Media organisations need to make sure that every move they make is fair and they give the right people a chance. Many women are right for the job, let’s give them a chance.”

GSMC’s Director of Academic Affairs, Dr Nancy Booker called on women who have made it to the top to pay it forward.

“Women are still under-represented in the media. Women’s skills and experiences are core in telling stories. We challenge women to explore innovations and confidently sit at the table,” she said.

GSMC continues to invest in the improvement of the quality of media practitioners through its high-quality programs. It is committed to keeping the knowledge discourse alive among media practitioners, and in so doing hopes to help contribute to quality training and nurturing of seasoned media practitioners.

The discussion was a starting point for continuous conversations and action plans with other relevant stakeholders to drive the women in media leadership agenda.

The panelists were Pamela Sittoni (Executive Editor, Daily Nation); Joe Odindo (Seasoned Media Leader); Quenteer Mbori (President, Standard Group Women Network); Catherine Gicheru (Country Manager, Code for Africa); Joanne Kuria (Policy Analyst, Amnesty International) and Dr. Alex Awiti (Vice Provost and Interim Dean, The Aga Khan University Graduate School of Media and Communications).