Only 3 per cent of women occupy top slots in Saccos

Sacco CEO's in an annual conference in Nairobi. Photo/File

By Munene Maina

Men dominate top management and leadership positions in Deposit-Taking Saccos new data shows.

The Sacco Societies Regulatory Authority (Sasra) latest Sacco Supervision Annual Report, 2019 indicates men occupy 96.4 per cent of all chairmen seats in the institutions’ Board of Directors while women held 3.6 per cent of the positions.

Men also dominated in the Secretary and Treasurer positions accounting for 85.2 per cent and 84 per cent respectively.

“The only key position in which the female gender registered a reasonable number is the Vice-Chairman’s position in which women accounted for 25.4 per cent, but which is still below the constitutionally recommended minimum of at least one-third threshold,” the Sasra report indicates.

The Regulator called for co-operative affirmative policy and framework that will encourage more women to join leadership and decision-making positions.

Members elect Boards of Directors, who consist of a maximum of nine non-executive members, charged the responsibility of ensuring there is an effective internal control system in Saccos. The Supervisory Committee has three individuals also elected by members.

Sasra comparative analysis on membership of the Board of Directors noted a marginal increase of women from 16.7 per cent in 2018 to 19 per cent in 2019.

There were 1,995 members of the Board of Directors in 2019, 1,616 male and 379 female, and 497 Supervisory Committee members, 111 women and 386 men.

In the top management, women accounted for 23.98 per cent of the 170 Chief Executive Officers while men held 76.02 per cent of the positions. However, this was a slight increase in the number of women CEOs from 22.99 per cent in 2018 as the number of male CEOs reduced by four last year. 

Out of 934 employees in the management team of Deposit-Taking Saccos, men dominated by 64.35 per cent (601) against 35.65 per cent or 333 women who held the positions.

The new report also shows an increase in the number of Sacco employees to 9,060 in the fiscal year 2019 compared to 8,654 employees in 2018. This is despite a decline of registered DT-Saccos to 172 in 2019 down from 174 in 2018.

There were 7,899 permanent employees, accounting for 87.2% DT-Saccos’ workforce and 1,161 temporary employees in 2019. Generally, Sasra noted that there was gender parity among the institutions’ employees. The number of male employees dropped from 52.06% recorded in 2018 to 51.82% in 2019, while women accounted for about 48.5 per cent of employees.

Last year, Sasra released the Sacco Subsector Demographic Study Report that revealed there was a total population of slightly over 4.97 million members as at December 2018, with 60.65% being male, 34.23% female, while 5.12% did not disclose their gender. The male dominance in membership of DT-Saccos is contrary to the national population demographics where female gender is slightly more.

The Sacco members aged between 18 to 50 years accounted for 59.64% of the total membership. Those aged below 35 represented 30.86 per cent, a third of the entire membership.

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