An investigation of factors affecting upward mobility of women workers in agro-chemical and food manufacturing industries in Kenya: a case of ACFC-Muhoroni Ltd
Okeyo, Janet Orawo
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There has been skewed upward mobility for female employees in the Agro - based industries in Kenya. While the male workers are aggressive and would rise to occupy higher positions like managerial and executive posts, their female counterparts lag behind even if their qualifications at recruitment time was the same. This has been a worrying trend that the researcher has observed for several years. This called for a study in the Agro- based Industry in Kenya, to investigate factors affecting upward mobility of women workers. The specific objectives were: to determine internal factors that hinder upward mobility for women workers; to determine external factors that hinder upward mobility for women workers; to find out policy impediments regarding promotion and training at ACFC and to provide policy recommendations to support women progression in employment. The study employed descriptive study design on a target population of 255workers at the company. Simple random sampling of 10% of 232 male workers, census of 23 female workers and purposive sampling for 10 HODS was used to obtain total sample population of 56 elements. Data was collected using questionnaires and interview schedule, a trained research assistant was used to drop and pick the instruments as appropriate while the interviews were conducted on appointment. Data was analysed using SPSS computer software. The study identified the following as the main factors affecting upward mobility of women employees in ACFC-Muhoroni as educational level, professional qualifications, performance at workplace, socio-cultural issues, top management leadership and policy; gender consideration, marital status and work relationship with the boss. The study recommended that more women should be employed at management level to represent women in decision making; that women should venture into more technical areas like engineering; also, the company should have strict policies guiding on promotion and training of workers in general and women in particular. More women should be employed at management levels. Women should become more aggressive and venture into technical areas to enable them compete favorably; Women should aim at furthering their education. Socio-cultural issues that promote male chauvinism in the manufacturing sector should be stopped.