In March the world celebrates Women’s History Month, and Mara Elephant Project is proud of our diverse workplace. While we often, rightfully so, feature the work our rangers are doing on the ground to protect the Mara’s wildlife, communities and habitat; we wanted to spotlight another important member of our staff this Women’s History Month, Aileen Nkoitoi. Aileen is an administrator at MEP, a key asset to our support staff, which have all played a crucial role to the well-being of our organization especially during the pandemic.
Aileen joined MEP in November 2019 and is tasked with managing the day-to-day activities at MEP’s office located in the Maasai Mara. She coordinates field or operational activities and provides administrative support to the executive leadership team. While important tasks, one of Aileen’s most important duties for MEP is she leads our human resources department.
MEP has very strict policies in place to ensure the safety and well-being of every staff member across the organization. As we’ve grown over the last decade, implementing and running a strong HR department led by Aileen has been vital to keeping our high standards. MEP has a strong no tolerance policy when it comes to any types of harassment or discrimination, and it’s Aileen’s job to ensure that MEP maintains that standard throughout the organization.
“MEP recognizes that sexual harassment is a manifestation of power and often occurs within unequal relationships in the workplace. We see that MEP’s military structure that enables us to do our job in the field could lead to this imbalance, which is why we are firm that anyone who harasses another will be dealt with swiftly and reprimanded in accordance with internal policy.”
MEP is committed to a work environment in which all individuals are treated with respect and dignity and employees are encouraged to report all perceived incidents of discrimination or harassment. We are responsible under the law to prevent any kind of harassment in the workplace by taking immediate corrective measures to stop it and to promptly investigate any allegation of harassment. MEP is firm that we do not discriminate based on race, color, gender disability age or any other class protected under the Kenyan constitution in any of its activities or operation and bullying of any kind is not tolerated at any point.
Although no records of harassment or discrimination have been experienced at MEP to date, it’s crucial that with Aileen’s support systems are in place for our staff to feel confident that their reporting will be heard, investigated and resolved appropriately. Aileen is originally from Aitong, right down the road from MEP’s campus and her passion and interest in conservation comes from a motivation to develop and increase awareness within her own community of the work being done by organizations like MEP and how conservation-based employment is a viable option for local youth.
Aileen continues to be a steadfast presence for us over the past year when COVID made for a difficult working environment. Supply chains were interrupted, new policies needed to be quickly implemented and through it all Aileen continued to ensure a conducive working environment for all MEP employees.