Factors influencing performance of women in leadership positions at Safaricom limited in Kenya
In Kenya women constitute slightly over half of the total population and form a critical portion of the human resource base. However, available data indicates that they are inadequately represented in senior management positions in both the private and public institutions. There is still paucity of research on women leadership in Africa. Since women's roles in leadership transpire in a multitude of settings and contexts, it is imperative that new research encompasses factors that influence performance of women in leadership positions in Kenya and in a case of the leading telecommunications company in Kenya. The objectives this study establish the extent of influence of educational qualifications, experience, social cultural practices and company policies have on performance of women in leadership positions at Safaricom Limited. A descriptive survey design was used in this research. The target population of the study was all employees who were employed by Safaricom Limited by close of business 31st March, 2012. Stratified random sampling was done to staff in the strata of senior management- to include the Chiefs and Directors, middle management – who include the Head of Departments and senior officers. The respondents were finally identified using simple random sampling. To collect data and information from the sampled respondents, a questionnaire was used. The data was analysed using statistical package for social sciences (SPSS) and Microsoft excel. The findings of the study reveal that good company policies which are not discriminatory are one of the key factors influencing performance of women in leadership position at Safaricom Limited. The level of education qualification, experience and social cultural background were not significant factors in terms of influencing how women at management positions at Safaricom Limited performed. The findings of this study have led to recommendations to Safaricom Limited and other Organisations. One of the key recommendations is the establishment of mentorship programs within Organisations in order to boost performance. Organisations should also continue to improve on non-discriminatory employment policies which ensure equal opportunity for all regardless of social cultural background.