Croatian Employers' Association and the Gender Equality Ombudsman presented the first members of the electronic Base of business women

17.03.2016.

Zagreb, 16th of March 2016 - Gender Equality Ombudsman and the Croatian Employers' Association presented the first members of the electronic Base of business women who are capable and qualified to immediately assume management positions in companies. The Base is placed on the website www.hup.hr and http://staklenilabirint.prs.hr/ and is available for all to see.
Along with the first members of the Base of business women, the event was attended by: Bernardica Juretić Minister of Social Policy and Youth, a representative from the Office of the Minister of Labour Melita Čičak, Višnja Ljubičić, Ombudsperson for Gender Equality of the Republic of Croatia; Gordana Deranja, president of the CEA; Bernard Jakelić, deputy director of the CEA and the ambassador of the project: Zrinka Ferro, CEO of Laguna Novigrad; Nikolina Dizdar Čehulić, a member of the Board of Pliva; Olivia Jakupec, a member of Podravka Management Board; Ljerka Puljić, member of the Supervisory Board of Agrokor; Nelsi Rončević, a member of the Management Board of Splitska Banka; Branka Slaveska, CEO of Heineken Croatia; Ivana Šoljan, a member of the Board IN2.

Croatian Base of Business Women was designed according to the already existing similar bases in the world as part of a wider project of removing the glass labyrinth - equality of opportunity in access to positions of economic decision-making in Croatia financed by the Progress program of the European Union.

"The purpose of launching the Base of business women is to encourage companies to hire more women in management positions because they are still significantly under-represented in comparison to men. Although, as the Base will prove, we have enough trained, qualified and competent women who can be executive directors, members or presidents of management boards of companies, it is still more common to find men on such positions. Progress is present, but it is still too slow and needs to be stepped up. This is one of the steps that we are taking in this direction together with the Croatian Employers' Association. CEA represents more than 6,000 companies and if in them, to a greater extent than before, we start a positive change in terms of achieving greater equality between men and women, it will have a very visible impact and cause significant shifts in the entire business sector." said the Ombudsman for Gender equality Višnja Ljubičić.

President of the Croatian Employers' Association Gordana Deranja expressed satisfaction with the number of applications received so far and expressed hope that the publication of the first Base will motivate other women who meet set criteria to submit their applications.

"All member companies of the CEA were informed about the activation of the Base, and we will encourage them to start using the Base when deciding on new appointments to management positions in their companies. In addition we encourage companies to generally pay more attention to the equality of women and men in their human resources programmes. This problem is still very much present - confirmed that the recently published data of the United Nations and the prediction that the gender pay gap at this rate will not diminish for 70 more years. Although at least on this issue we are not at the bottom of the world scale, Croatia has much room for improvement regarding the equality of women and men. Formally, we have fulfilled the conditions for achieving equality, but they do not work in practice. We have made a step backwards in terms of women's representation in parliament and the government after the last elections. Therefore, common and persistent engagement of all key stakeholders is neccesary - in business, government and NGO sector, in order to solve this problem. Only together can we remove all the barriers - both mental and physical ones - that prevent the full equality of women and men, and that to all of us, as a country and as a society, can bring benefits. Together this important and unfinished work can be brought to an end quickly. Therefore, Croatian Employers' Association actively supports and will support all initiatives aimed at achieving true equality of women and men in the business world, but also in the wider community, "said Gordana Deranja.

Croatian Employers' Association has announced that it will organize workshops for women members of Base in the field of leadership to and that it will together with them start a mentoring program that will support the career development of young business woman.

Business women interested in entering the Base can submit their applications throughout the year and the decision for their listing will happen twice a year by the Committee whose members are: Višnja Ljubičić, Ombudsperson for Gender Equality, Gordana Deranja, president of the Employers' Association, Davor Majetić, the main Director of CEA, Ivica Mudrinić, President of the National competitiveness Council and Maria Anargyrou Nikolić, General Manager of Coca-Cola HBC Croatia, Slovenia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.



Ambassadors of the Project of Base of Business Women:

Zrinka Ferro, CEO of Laguna Novigrad
Nikolina Dizdar Čehulić, a member of the Board of Pliva
Ivana Gažić, CEO of the Zagreb Stock Exchange
Olivia Jakupec, a member of the Board of Podravka
Vedrana Jelusic Kasic, EBRD
Ljerka Puljic, member of the Supervisory Board of Agrokor
Ksenija Punčikar, a member of the Board of Belupo
Nelsi Roncevic, a member of the Management Board of Splitska Banka
Nataša Rapaić, member of the Management Board of HT
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