Carbacid Investments #ticker:CARB has appointed corporate governance consultant Susan Mudhune to its board, making her the first female director at the industrial gas manufacturer.

Mrs Mudhune, who served as the KCB Group #ticker:KCB chairperson between 2003 and 2008, currently sits on the boards of telecommunications giant Safaricom and insurer Sanlam ticker:PAFR.

She is the first woman to join the board of Carbacid, a Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) :ticker:NSE listed firm which, like many firms in the country, lags behind in terms of gender diversity on its board.

Carbacid’s board consists of Baloo Patel (a significant shareholder), Mukesh Shah, Dennis Awori with James Wanjigi serving as its chairman.

“The chairman and the board of Carbacid Investments are delighted to welcome Susan to the group,” Carbacid said in a statement. “Susan has a wealth of experience in the corporate world having served on several dynamic and successful boards.”

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Mrs Mudhune is a corporate governance consultant and trainer with experience in Kenya, Rwanda, Mozambique, Uganda and South Africa. She chairs the board of Sanlam Investments as well as Safaricom’s board audit committee.

A 2015 study by the Institute of Directors Kenya found that women account for 30 per cent of board membership in Kenya. This gender imbalance in boardrooms sees companies lose out on the skills and expertise that women have to offer.

Carbacid, which primarily mines and sells carbon dioxide, recorded a 4.6 per cent net profit drop in the year ended July 2016 on reduced market value of its equity investments and absence of property gains booked in the prior year.

Its net earnings in the period stood at Sh375.5 million compared to Sh393.8 million the year before when its property holdings was revalued upwards by Sh32.5 million.

Carbon dioxide is used to carbonate soft drinks, wine and beer. In solid form, it is used as dry ice in refrigeration of foodstuff such as ice cream and meat products.

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