Kenya’s Ogutu Okudo is changing the narratives in a male dominated oil industry
Ogutu Okudo, 28, has been named under Forbes’ Africa’s 30 Under 30 2020 list.
Forbes Africa 30 Under 30 is one of the most anticipated lists of Africa’s brightest achievers under the age of 30 spanning categories including business, technology, creatives and sport.
In a list released by Forbes Africa last week, the 28-year-old founder and CEO of Women in Energy and Extractives Africa was listed in the Oil and Energy industry category.
The oil and gas industry is vast, with revenues of $3 trillion expected worldwide this year, according to IBISWorld, a business information and market research firm. And while the sector supports millions of jobs, those opportunities aren't being shared equally.
Women represent just 22% of employees in the industry worldwide, according to a 2017 report by the World Petroleum Council and The Boston Consulting Group -- a significantly smaller share than found in almost any other sector.
Ms Okudo’s goal is to empower women in Africa
To help bridge gender gaps in the energy sector, Okudo founded Women in Energy & Extractives (WEX Africa) in 2011. The nonprofit operates in eight African countries and has grown to more than 4,000 members.
The group works to reach girls at an early age and encourage them to study science and technology. "We make sure we go to high schools all around Kenya and all around Africa," says Okudo, who has worked as a consultant for oil companies including Nigeria's SpringRock Energy.
"The development trajectory for Africa for the next 50 years being very infrastructure and fintech focused, we must ensure girls are not left behind," says Okudo.
"When you observe women and their patterns, the money they get will 100% go back to their families and this changes the economic outlook of the community," Okudo explains. "We want women at the forefront. That's the real African dream."
"I want women to disrupt. I want to see more women in these sector," Okudo says. "I want to see more women in positions of power and influence."
CNN Africa Voices referred to Okudo as ‘The woman on a mission to disrupt the energy sector.’
Each year Forbes Africa headhunts for resilient self-starters, innovators, entrepreneurs and disruptors under the age of 30 in the categories of business, technology, creatives and sport.
The nominees compete fiercely competition and are subjected to a rigorous vetting process to make it to the list of 30 finalists.