Are you in the marketing industry? Here's a sneak peek into the top 25 women in marketing as listed by Business Monthly EA in 2022.
I feel fortunate to live in an era where we see women in marketing succeed and get the recognition they deserve. This year, Business Monthly EA selected 25 Women in Marketing awardees from a nomination list with 157 candidates. These women have stood out by impacting the marketing industry with their talents, knowledge, and experience. Today, we want to get to know these 25 women in marketing a little bit better. Shall we?
The top 25 women in marketing 2022
1. Caroline Mutoko, Seasoned Media Practitioner and Group Marketing Manager - Radio Africa
Caroline Mutoko is a force to be reckoned with. She rose to the top from her first job at Capital FM to become a seasoned media practitioner with more than 20 years of experience. She has a rich international and public relations exposure network, giving her an added advantage among the top women in marketing in 2022. Getting shortlisted for her expertise is not new to Caroline Mutoko. She was recognized among the leading top 40 women under 40 in Kenya in 2013, acclaimed as a "Fire Brand" by CNN's show "African Voices," and has been acknowledged for demonstrating professionalism and commitment in the media industry by listener ratings and research.
As if that's not enough, Caroline is known for her creative crisis management solutions that have helped her overcome brand-damaging difficult situations. If you are in the sales and marketing industry and don't follow Caroline Mutoko, I don't know what you are waiting for.
2. Carolyne Kendi, Head of the Segment Marketing Tribe - Safaricom PLC
Carolyne Kendi started as a field sales representative. If you had told her that 20 years from then, she would have a prestigious title in Kenya's leading telecommunications company, she probably wouldn't have believed it. She has worked for some leading brands in Kenya, including Unilever, EABL (DIAGEO), and now Safaricom PLC. She is celebrated for being part of the team that successfully scaled up Tusker Project Fame. Additionally, she has worked in several African markets under Unilever, building Blue Band, an iconic regional brand. If you are familiar with the iconic Safaricom campaigns Nawe Kila Wakati, Twende Tukiuke, and Tuinuane - That's all her!
3. Yvonne Tharao, Group Marketing and Corporate Affairs Manager - Madison Group Kenya
Yvonne Tharao prides herself on change. She wants to keep looking for new ways to change the marketing game in Kenya. Most people don't know this, but Yvonne was instrumental in making the Finance Act of 2016. She took one for the team and successfully lobbied the National Treasury for tax relief for corporates that sponsor sporting activities in Kenya. With this, Yvonne boosted the visibility of Madison Group since it got the branding rights for Nyayo National Stadium and the Mathare United Football Club sponsorship. Even though she started in marketing, later on, Yvonne served in C-Suites at Jubilee, Britam, and now at Madison Group. Yvonne is a visionary marketing expert, and we can't wait to see what she has up her sleeve for the future.
4. Mimi Mavuti, Head, Corporate Affairs BAT Kenya and East African Markets
Have you ever applied for a job and never heard from the company again? Well, Mimi Mavuti's story will help you maintain your job application momentum. She got her first job with an oil company eight months after submitting her application. Not only was lady luck on her side, but her hard work and determination helped her rise to her current role as the Head of Corporate Affairs. Her skills include media management, stakeholder relations, insights and foresight, reputation and brand management, strategy development, and leading conscientious and agile teams. Besides this, Mimi is enrolled in a Business Sustainability Management Course with the Institute for Sustainability Leadership at the University of Cambridge, UK.
5. Jacquie Muhati, Deputy Marketing Director - NCBA Group
Jacquie came to the limelight while working for Kenya Airways as the Head of Marketing. She oversaw over 40 countries and led memorable campaigns, including KQs 40-year celebrations in 2017 and Intra Africa Growth. Furthermore, she was instrumental in the marketing and execution of the New York Direct route launch (the 'maiden route'). This campaign won not 1 but 2 Sabre Awards in Consumer Product and Services and Superior Achievement in Brand Building (Certificate of Excellence). Apart from getting listed among the top women in marketing, Jacquie sits on various boards and committees, including:
Global IATA Sustainability and Environmental Committee
Shared Value Africa
CMO Council Africa Advisory Board.
If you would like her to mentor you, she is open to coaching young upcoming marketing professionals.
6. Isabella Kariuki Rostom, Marketing Director for the East and Central Africa Franchise at Coca-Cola
We all have tasted Coca-Cola and watched its advertisements on TV. Now, we get to meet the brains behind the brand. Isabella is responsible for the Company's portfolio of brands across several beverage categories. She credits her high-performing team and dynamism for the success of her current role at Coca-Cola. Her journey with Coca-Cola started seven years ago when she was employed as a Product Design and Innovation Manager. She later on joined the marketing team and has never looked back. Her career philosophy revolves around these four principles:
Giving 100% to your current role
Taking leaps of faith
Being open to new experiences
Building a solid support network
7. Anne Joy Michira, Marketing and Innovations Director East Africa - EABL DIAGEO
If you have been struggling with leadership skills, Anne Joy is one of the top women in marketing you should follow. She is passionate about propelling young people to action and helping them see their purpose. Her 17+ years in the trade and brand marketing industry have made Kenya's spirit business rank second globally at DIAGEO. As if this is not enough, her efforts helped EABL win its first-ever Cannes Lion award at the Marketing Society of Kenya gala awards. She is passionate about creating a performance work culture that will be beneficial for the EABL brand. The Business Daily ranks the mother of two boys as one of the top 40 under-40 achievers.
8. Caroline Wandetto, Group Head of Marketing and Corporate Communications - Sarova Hotels and Resorts
The first thing you will notice about Caroline is the diversity in her skills and experience. She is open to learning more about the marketing field and accommodating any changes that come her way. She started at Tru Blaq entertainment and quickly shifted to the Royal Media Services Group in 2008. After working in the marketing industry for some time, she switched gears to join the hospitality and tourism sectors. She participates in mentorship programs outside and at work and is passionate about women's societal empowerment.
9. Waithera Nganga, Director, Marketing and Communications at Bio Foods Products
She describes herself as a corporate strategist who sits between the agriculture and commerce industries. From watching TV advertisements as a young girl, Waithera always knew she wanted to be in the marketing industry. I can imagine that being listed as one of the top women in marketing didn't shock her. Since she grew up on a farm, she found a way of integrating her childhood living with her passion. She was recognized by Business Daily as one of the top 40 under-40 achievers and has consistently risen from the top since she joined the marketing industry. She has held various leadership positions, including:
Global advisory member at the World Brand Congress
Industry Representative at East African Public Societies platform
Trustee Audience Research Foundation
10. Grace Nganga, Group Head of Marketing and Corporate Communications - APA Insurance Limited
Grace moved from banking to advertising and is now in the Insurance Industry. She hit the ground running in the Insurance industry by successfully executing the brand campaign - APA Insuring happiness. Grace enjoys working in the marketing industry because of the endless benefits, experiences, and lessons. She likes that each role is a learning moment and that she directly impacts the lives of her clients.
11. Grace Waweru, Managing Director - Ogilvy Africa - Kenya and Zambia
Grace's outstanding portfolio makes it clear why she was one of the top women in marketing in 2022. She has worked for Pan-African clients in sectors ranging from mining, NGO, FMCG, Petroleum, Financial, Aviation, Telco, Pharmaceuticals, and Automotive. Her role at Ogilvy has exposed her to different working cultures in Nairobi, Dubai, Cape Town, and Lusaka. Her secret to being the creme de la creme of women in marketing is the power of storytelling. Grace enjoys and believes good storytelling is enough to help you reach your target audience. She is open to mentoring and coaching young women in the industry. Her leadership style involves being an example to the employees. One of her many achievements is the "Password" campaign that revolved around COVID-19 and reached 1.2 billion people globally. Not only did this campaign surpass their expectation, but it also received several global awards like the Global Good Award and Save the Children Partnership Award.
12. Janet Kamau Thiong'o, Africa Marketing Director -Oracle
Janet is technology oriented and has found a way of incorporating technology-enabled business transformations and technology marketing across multiple regions and countries. Over the years, her marketing strategy has earned her the Oracle Global Marketing Excellence Award. Janet attributes her success to adaptability, open-mindedness, gratitude, and integrity. She also mentors many young girls across the region who want to pursue STEM Careers.
13. Eunie Khimulu Nyakundi, Chief Commercial Officer - Alifluence
Eunie is one of the top women in marketing who are passionate about B2Bs and B2Cs. She started as a Brand Manager and slowly climbed the ladder to what she is today, a Chief Commercial Officer. Her ability to sync the marketing department with other departments in the organization brought her to the limelight. Eunie has worked on multiple brands throughout her career, including DSTv, KCB, Milo, Nestle Drinking Chocolate, Econet Wireless Kenya, Fanta, Kengele's Management Group, Sprite, and Oserian Group. She is known for smoothly transitioning the IBM Nairobi Innovation Client Center to a virtual support center during the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, she was in the inaugural Business Monthly EA 2021 Edition of Top 25 Women in C-Suite Impacting Business and was awarded the Rising Star Award for the Financial and Banking Services sector.
14. Nelly Wainaina, Coca-Cola Head of Marketing Kenya and Tanzania
What began as training to join the accounting industry ended in the use of that knowledge in the marketing industry. Marketing caught Nelly's eye when she started working as a Brand Assistant at Cadbury Kenya in 2001. Nelly is part of the Reckitt Benckiser team responsible for the Dettol Heart Run campaign. Nelly has a lot to show for her over 21 years in the marketing industry, including:
Getting recognition as one of the top 40 under 40 in Kenya in 2010 by the Business Daily
Growing the Dettol brand market share
Winning the Global Chairman's, You can make a difference award at Colgate Palmolive in 2014 for leading the re-entry of the business in Nigeria with a turnover of 10 million Dollars.
15. Jackline Kittony Arao, Marketing Director - Tetra Park East Africa
Jackline attributes her success to her learning spirit, passion for client satisfaction, leadership qualities, and mentors. Additionally, she has picked up lessons from her friends and colleagues that she has applied to her career and life. Jackline also participates in youth empowerment and mentoring, so you can reach out to her for guidance in the marketing field. Her guiding principles are leveraging teamwork, learning from mistakes, keeping it simple, and delivering value at work.
16. Sheila Harrison Changangu, Marketing Director East Africa - VISA
Sheila started as a Brand Manager for Cadbury PLC. She switched employers and worked for renowned brands like SABMiller and British American Tobacco before Visa headhunted her to be the Marketing Director. Sheila hit the ground running to become one of the top women in marketing today. Sheila is all about her wellness and creating a healthy work-life balance, which is why she enjoys travelling the world, boosting her health and wellness, and enjoying different cuisine and culture.
17. Warau Kahoro, Marketing Director - Beiersdorf Central, East, and West Africa
Warau started her marketing career at Unilever, working on brands like Royco, Lifebuoy, Omo, and Sunlight. She has had the pleasure of working with brands across East Africa and has achieved so much over the years. Her accomplishments don't stop there. When Warau moved to Beiersdorf, she managed NIVEA's brand marketing activities. Her efforts got recognition from the Marketing Society of Kenya when NIVEA won the new product launch category in 2021. Warau believes that to succeed at marketing, you must understand all the aspects of the brand and any other external elements that relate to it.
18. Magdalene Mwende Mulandi, Head of Marketing and Communications - SBM Bank Kenya
Magdalene has dipped her foot into both the banking and entertainment industries. She started as a journalism student and slowly discovered her passion for writing. This passion led her to website production, where she interacted with the marketing industry for the first time. The marketing guru helped develop initial websites for most financial service players in the market. One of her notable achievements is her interaction with the Qwetu brand, one of the most recognized brands in student accommodation.
19. Esther Ngomeli, Co-Founder, Chief Operating Officer, and Deputy CEO of Redhouse Group
Twenty-five years of experience in the marketing industry is no joke. Esther is an award-winning marketing and communication machine. She has driven the Redhouse Group brand into the limelight as the most awarded IMC Group nationally and globally. She serves on various boards and has a lot of experience in software programming and the fashion design clothes business. Esther has received global recognition for being the second woman in sub-Saharan Africa to get the Fellow status by the Chartered Institute of Marketing in the UK for her leadership and marketing role in key brands within Kenya and beyond. Her love for helping and supporting young minds has made her a mentor and career coach to many.
20. Carol Warui, Deputy Managing Partner at Ogilvy Africa
From her work ethic to her experience, Carol has demonstrated time after time why she deserves to be part of the top women in marketing. She embraces technology and is ready to embrace fresh talent in the company. If you are familiar with Merck Healthcare, Carol is a vital part of that campaign. Her ability to take challenges head-on has made the Ogilvy brand rise to a regional giant in the communication industry. She attributes her success to her positive mindset. As a leader, Carol believes that your team can make or break you. If your team doesn't understand your vision, you will not be able to steer them to success.
21. Arnolda Shiundu, Sustainability Lead for Africa - DIAGEO
She was the Head of Sustainability and Community Engagement at EABL and rose to her current position later on. Arnolda won the Private sector winner of the 2020 SDGs Kenya Award and the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion award at the Reuters Responsible Business awards 2021. Her expertise has successfully helped craft the MOU between NTSA and KBL to promote positive drinking. As if this is not enough, Arnolda also won the 2021 Meaningful Business 100 (MB 100) award. Before joining the marketing industry, Arnolda was a communications guru who worked with brands like MTN, TOYOTA, Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, and Amref Health Africa. Brace yourself for this - Arnolda has worked in politics as a senior communications advisor in the Uhuru Kenyatta campaign secretariat in 2013. She winds up her working days by meditating and working out and is a passionate hiker who is a Berlin Marathon finisher.
22. Carol Wachira Wanyama, Marketing Director - Royal Media Services
She was among SOMA 2021s Top 25 Women in Digital award because of her efforts to digitally transform Royal Media Group. Additionally, she is responsible for the TV Content strategy for all the external content of the Group. She attributes her success at Royal Media Group to her team and the strengths that they bring to the table. Carol is a board member of the Advertising Standards Committee, Kenya Private Sector Alliance, and the Zuri Foundation. Her love for mentorship has made her guide many young professionals at various levels through their careers.
23. Serah Katusya, Managing Director for East and Central Africa - GROUPM
Serah started her career in client service, which she quickly lost interest in, and decided to try a career in the media industry. Little did she know this career change is what would have led to her getting recognition as one of the top women in marketing in 2022. After discovering that media is her niche, she has spent the last 12 years crisscrossing Africa and exposing herself to different cultures, media partners, brands, and people. The advertising industry's diversity and innovation keep her on her toes. She enjoys the fact that one little piece of information can spark a whole campaign and increase the brand visibility of a business. Serah is keen on embracing her humanity even in the workplace and encourages anyone working or existing in a toxic space to leave.
24. Mumbi Keega, Public Affairs Leader for Africa - DOW
Mumbi was lucky enough to start her career at 22 as a university student. After graduation, she started working at a marketing firm dealing with major sports and branding campaigns. You might have heard of some of them, including:
Tusker Safari Sevens
Johnnie Walker Golf Series
Tusker Project Fame and Athletics
Serah has run many successful campaigns and has awards to show for it. She was 1st runner-up for best young PR Practitioner of the year 2007 and was among the top women in marketing in 2022. After more than ten years in the marketing industry, Serah still believes there is room for improvement. She still believes that sustainability and ESGs will be the core of her next career journey. She believes that everyone should have an owner's mindset. This mindset allows you to carry out tasks for the employer in the way you would want your business to work.
25. Samantha Kipury, Group Head of Media - DENTSU KENYA
Samantha has worked with some of the biggest brands in Kenya, like Netflix, Absa, Safaricom, and NCBA. In addition, she has worked on campaigns like the Malaria No More Campaign that partnered with global brands. She is a feminist who wholly supports women in the workplace and was selected as a Jurist in the media category of the Loeries in South Africa in 2020 and 2021. In addition, Samantha is among the top women in marketing in 2022, the top 25 women in C-Suite in 2021, and the top 40 women under 40 in 2018.
Getting recognition among the top women in marketing in 2022, as listed by Business Monthly, must have been a shock to some of these women; however, from their experiences, mantras, and achievements, you can see why they have succeeded in their careers. Let us know in the comments below whom you look up to among the 25 women in marketing and why.