These are the women we strive to embody.

10. Caroline A. Wanga – CEO Essence Magazine

Caroline A. Wanga, a Cultural Architect, Operational Leader and Community Curator, was appointed Chief Executive officer of the African-American inspired lifestyle, fashion and beauty publication, Essence magazine on February 9.


Born and bred in Kenya until 1988, Wanga migrated to Minnesota in the US aged 10. She later began her Business Administration Management studies at Texas College. Wanga joined the US retailer corporation Target Co as a Distributions Center Intern in 2005. 15 years later, she left her last role at the firm as Chief Diversity Inclusion Officer.


Before her exit, Wanga was at the forefront of Target’s strategic initiative to ensure an all-inclusive society, particularly through guest experiences, a diverse and inclusive work environment and societal impact.


She helped fuel Target’s business objectives through its first-ever performance-based DI goals, significantly improving areas including Supplier Diversity, Marketing, Philanthropy, Retention, Hiring, Representation and Engagement. She also had responsibility for reshaping Target’s organizational culture.

Caroline Wanga CEO Essence Magazine

9. Irene Koki Mutungi – First female Boeing 787 Dreamliner Captain

Captain Koki Mutungi was the first female on the African continent to be certified as a Captain of the Boeing 787 “Dreamliner” aircraft in 2014. Her wins, however, did not surface from this monumental moment alone.


At the age of 17, Captain Koki was registered as the first female pilot in Kenya in 1993. Making her mark as the first female pilot in Kenya airways, she later became the first African woman to qualify to captain a commercial aircraft.


Koki has paved the way for major changes in aviation, on-setting the first flight with an all-female crew during the 2020 International Women’s Day. The ultra-long-haul flight was operated by the female crew to three destinations.


“It’s been amazing at Kenya Airways. Having been the first and only woman for six years in the airline, we now have over 30 female pilots who are a great example for the rest of the world to emulate. Looking at where we have come from makes me proud of whom we have become,” Koki said.


In December 2014,  Forbes magazine named her among the “The 20 Youngest Power Women In Africa 2014”.




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Ruth Mugasha

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