Empowering women in Industry

Date: Thursday, August 16, 2018

Participants at the  industrial visit. Photo: UN Women/ Kennedy Okoth
Participants at the  industrial visit. Photo: UN Women/ Kennedy Okoth

On 14th August UN Women in partnership with Classic Mouldings, a leading interior design and construction services organized a first ever industry on site-visit for women and young adults as well as representatives of corporates that are signatories to the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs).

The on-site visit was in response to public demand from a previous WEPs forum held in June 2018 and convened by the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) with support from UN Women.  The June forum aimed at exposing women to opportunities in emerging growth sectors in Kenya such as housing, construction and manufacturing where women remain invisible and under-represented. 

Over 50 women and young adults participated in the industry visit which was hosted by Classic Mouldings.   Also, present were representatives from corporates such as Diamond Trust Bank, Gulf African Bank, Plast Packaging Group of Companies, as well as Business Associations such as the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry which are members of the WEPs Kenya Chapter, among others.  As the old saying goes -seeing is believing.  The participants were extremely happy during the studio tour as they got a first-hand chance to learn about new technology and products in the growing interior design and construction industry, opportunities for women to get their foot into the door, including training facilities to acquire technical skills. 

Classic Mouldings has rolled out a unique programme to train artisans on the latest technology and trends in interior design finishing.  Dubbed as the Professional Applicators Club (PAC), the programme seeks to contribute towards economic growth and sustainable development through job creation, decent work by proving technical skills training to 10,000 artisans across the country.   The PAC training is offered free and is structured leading to certification. To date over 6000 artisans of which over 50 percent are women, have benefitted from the programme and there is growing interest especially among the young entrepreneurs.

A key highlight of the day was the CEO of the company making a public commitment to gender equality and women’s empowerment by signing on to the WEPs.  Classic Mouldings now joins over 40 organizations in Kenya that are already part of the WEPs initiative.  “At Classic Mouldings we are already at the forefront in mentoring women to become trained artisans who are positioned from the bottom to top leadership in the organization.  This commitment comes naturally for us in the creation of job opportunities in the country”.  Moshe Noiman, CEO, Classic Mouldings

Moving forward:

One young female participant had this to say:  “I never knew that there is so much more to this than just bricks and mortar...Kudos to Classic Mouldings for such an inspiring and eye-opening visit and to UN Women-we need more of these! 

Based on the huge success of the industry visit and increased demand for more exposure for women to industry opportunities, especially in STEM related fields, UN Women in Kenya will organization a second industry visit in September 2018 which will be hosted by a WEPs signatory.