About

The Women Fundis in Construction (WFIC) – Nairobi Conference was designed for Women Fundis in all fields and positions within the construction industry. It provided a forum for women to network, learn, and share ideas. This wass a one-of-a-kind inaugural conference in Nairobi providing professional development and networking sessions for women fundis in the construction industry. Buildher designed the Women Fundis in Construction Conference (WFiCC, 2022), in partnership with GIZ-E4D, Google.org, Global Innovation Fund (GIF) and Vitol Foundation, to provide a platform for its women artisans, employers and supplier partners  to be part of this change in championing for inclusivity in the construction sector.

The conference was scheduled to be an biennial event. The format of the conference was a one-day program consisting of panels on relevant topics in addition to female keynote speakers sharing their insights as women in the construction industry. This conference was designed to promote, support and advance the careers of women fundis in construction.

PARTING SHOT

It has taken Buildher three and a half years to get to this moment! Thank you for being here to join us as we launch this new chapter and this new focus ON WOMEN FUNDIS IN CONSTRUCTION!

– Tatu Gatere | Buildher Co-Founder & CEO

“If we can be able to assist these people once they graduate to get the right tools so that they can go out there and help themselves away from Buildher or TVET’s done by the Government in the country, then it lifts them”.

– Alamitu Gayo | First Lady Marsabit County

“I believe that this is the beginning of something major that is going to happen in Kenya through this project of Buildher. I think we will start a fire that cannot be stopped.”

– Dorothy Nyongo | First Lady Kisumu County 

“In the County of Nairobi, we want to operationalize a funding of 50 million shillings per ward and we want women to be in the forefront in getting access to these funds.”

– James Njoroge | Deputy Governor Nairobi County

“The NCA’s mission is to regulate, facilitate and build capacity in the construction industry through strategic interventions and partnerships for sustainable socio-economic development, a mission that is similar to the conference theme “tujenge ushirikiano”, This shows that NCA can not do it alone, we need partnerships, to collaboration with like minded organizations, individuals and business to champion and push the agenda of inclusivity in the construction sector.”

– Arch Juliet Kabere | NCA’s Training & Capacity Building Manager 

MISSION

To raise the visibility of Buildher women fundis in the construction industry enabling the exchange of insights, experiences & perspectives that help advance their careers while connecting women artisans to their industry peers.

SPEAKERS

The conference brought together an impressive lineup of speakers, including Buildher senior management, distinguished government officials, prominent representatives from the National Construction Authority, and skilled Buildher artisans. Each speaker offered a unique perspective and invaluable insights on the latest trends, innovations, experiences and best practices in the construction industry. Collectively, these speakers demonstrated a deep commitment to advancing the industry and empowering skilled women artisans to achieve excellence in their work.

keynote speakers

“If we can be able to assist these people once they graduate to get the right tools so that they can go out there and help themselves away from Buildher or TVET’s done by the Government in the country, then it lifts them”.

Alamitu Gayo

First Lady Marsabit County

“I believe that this is the beginning of something major that is going to happen in Kenya through this project of Buildher. I think we will start a fire that cannot be stopped.”

Dorothy Nyongo

First Lady Kisumu County

“In the County of Nairobi, we want to operationalize a funding of 50 million shillings per ward and we want women to be in the forefront in getting access to these funds.”

James Njoroge

Deputy Governor Nairobi County

“The NCA’s mission is to regulate, facilitate and build capacity in the construction industry through strategic interventions and partnerships for sustainable socio-economic development, a mission that is similar to the conference theme “tujenge ushirikiano”, This shows that NCA can not do it alone, we need partnerships, to collaboration with like minded organizations, individuals and business to champion and push the agenda of inclusivity in the construction sector.”

Arch Juliet Kabere

NCA’s Training & Capacity Building Manager

“The ministry has over 40,000 units for affordable housing. Our intention is to work with Buildher women to provide interior finishes and doors for the Affordable Housing Program.”

Charles Hinga

PS State Department of Housing and Urban Development

The First Panel Discussion Group

The FIRST group was composed of Buildher Artisans and Alumni who have challenged biases and limitations, and positioned themselves for Success despite the odds.

Qadra Hassan is a NITA Certified Buildher carpentry and joinery artisan (2019 graduate). She is self-motivated and ambitious, has skills in carpentry, joinery, finishing and operates manual and power tools and woodworking machines. She worked formerly at Lynk Ltd and is currently at Moko.

Qadra Hassan

NITA Certified Buildher Carpentry
and Joinery Artisan

Flora Oluwaya is a NITA Certified Buildher carpentry and joinery artisan (2019 graduate). She is skilled in cabinetry, joinery, fixing doors, drawing interpretation and operates manual and power tools and woodworking machines. She works as a joiner at the Buildher Shop, trains new artisans starting at the shop and acts as a mentor to both trainees and incoming artisans.

Flora Oluwaya

NITA Certified Buildher Carpentry
and Joinery Artisan

Mary Ouma Otieno is a Painting and Decorating Buildher artisan (2021 graduate). She has worked with various Contractors and Developers namely, Unity Homes and Mi Vida Homes. She is skilled in painting, skimming, working with wall master and textured paints. She now trains artisans on site and is also responsible for Quality Control.

Mary Ouma Otieno

Buildher Painting and Decorating
Artisan

Jackline Muthoni is a NITA Certified Buildher carpentry and joinery artisan (2021 graduate). She is passionate about construction work and has launched her own workshop. She is a mentor to her peers, is self-driven, reliable and looking to progress and be a leading mark of quality in the industry. She wants to hire and empower Buildher artisans and other women.

Jackline Muthoni

NITA Certified Buildher Carpentry
and Joinery Artisan

Mercy Ngonyo is a NITA Certified Buildher carpentry and joinery artisan (2019 graduate) who has been working in the construction industry for 3 years. Her skills range from furniture to fit-outs including fabrication and fitting of cabinets, doors and shelves. She worked formerly at Lynk Ltd. and is currently at Studio Koobi Fora, Kilifi.

Mercy Ngonyo

NITA Certified Buildher Carpentry
and Joinery Artisan

Hanna Njoki is a Painting and Decorating Buildher artisan (2021 graduate). As a self-driven, go-getter, she has subcontracted various works, and specializes in painting, skimming and textured paint surfaces.

Hanna Njoki

Buildher Painting and Decorating
Artisan

Doreen Mugwaneza is a Painting and Decorating Buildher artisan (2022 graduate). She is an ambitious, fearless artisan who specializes in painting, skimming and textured paint surfaces. She has also pursued and acquired additional skills on site.

Doreen Mugwaneza

Buildher Painting and Decorating
Artisan

The Second Panel Discussion Group

The SECOND group was composed of successful women in the industry, who may have started out as fundis and now have built their businesses/career profiles in the construction industry. Through these discussions, WFiCC focused on best practice/ emerging ways that women can strengthen/ build effective transition to work or to business in construction.

Lynn Wambui is the Founder and Creative Director of Santana Africa, a bespoke furniture manufacturing company based here in Nairobi. Being in a male dominated field, she uses her feminine touch to create elegant pieces that stand out.

Lynn Wambui

Founder and Creative Director
Santana Africa

Beatrice Kiniti is the Founder of Furniture Art Kenya, and has run a vibrant furniture production workshop for 20 years since she joined the wood crafting space. When she started, Beatrice struggled with societal gendered norms and had to work twice as hard as my male counterparts to earn her clients’ trust.

Beatrice Kiniti

Founder
Furniture Art Kenya

Nancy Wambugu is the founder and MD of Salque Ventures Limited, a one-stop solution for building and construction materials; and Salque Interiors, an interior design studio that offers holistic home, retail and commercial solutions. Nancy is a resilient and visionary woman leader, who has sought to support other women to succeed in the traditionally male dominated industry.

Nancy Wambugu

Founder and MD
Salque Ventures Limited

Patricia Muthoni is the Owner of Patini Glassmart, a Glass Installation company in Nairobi. Self-made, during times when women fundi's were unheard of, she has worked in the sector for 28 years, having built the business up with her late husband. Patricia prides herself in showing women that quality & self-drive can earn them respect in the sector.

Patricia Muthoni

Owner
Patini Glassmart

Schola Musili is the Founder of Flair Paints Kenya a leading Paint company in East Africa. Schola’s passion is to create an equal working environment for women, striving daily to advocate on women rights and safety on construction sites. She also founded Rangi Maridadi Welfare Fund to create smart financial solutions to painters.

Schola Musili

Founder
Flair Paints Kenya

Sipporah Mwangi is Co-founder of two businesses; Flex Construction Solutions that deals in supply and fit-out of sustainable hardwood flooring, laminate flooring and vinyl flooring; and the other business representing LCN, the German cosmetics company. She enjoys mentorship and is currently working with BuildHer, to mentor and train young women in professional flooring techniques.

Sipporah Mwangi

Co-Founder
Flex Construction Solutions
LCN, the German Cosmetics Company

SPONSORS

testimonials

Tatu Gatere

Buildher Co-Founder & CEO

Robyn T. Emerson

Buildher Board Member

Charles Hinga

Principal Secretary, State Department of Housing and Urban Development

Joyce Muthoni

Buildher Painting & Decorating Trainer

John Kimani

Muungano wa wanavijiji Community Partner

Harriet Mwangi

Buildher Graduate, Painting & Decorating, Cohort 07, 2022