On May 17 – 19, 2022, 2022, Croatian Business Council for Sustainable Development (HR BCSD) as a leader of DC Croatia and Diversity Charter Slovenia, in partnership, organised a study tour to Vienna for delegations of women business leaders from Croatia and Slovenia
Two delegations met in Vienna on the evening of the 17th and enjoyed joined dinner where they took opportunity to meet each other, network and share interests and contacts. On the 18th, after morning off which was spent sightseeing and visiting museums, both delegations had a sight visit to offices of Generali Austria where they were met by Mr. Mueller, Head of HR of Generali. For about one hour, delegations had a chance to hear about multiple DE&I practices and employees engagement activities. From 16:00 to 19:00 hours delegations spent at the premises of Austrian Chamber of Economy, where they we hosted by DC Austria holding a mini conference on Diversity and Inclusion. Austrian key notes we given by Michael Pichler, representative of Zero Project Austria and Stefanie Eigner, project manager, from Limesoda company. Speeches from Croatia were given by Maritna Mlinarić, expert form MSG global solutions and Maja Crnjak, HR manager from Erste Bank Croatia. Slovenian case was presented by Anisa Faganelj, HR manager, AMZS.
More networking was organized during dinner that evening, while the next morning, two delegations said their goodbyes. Slovenian delegation went for the audience with Slovenian ambassador in Austria, while Croatian delegation took another site visit to a family-owned hotel Henriette, with high D&I standards, holding a certificate Common Goods Balance Sheet.
Ladies from both delegations expressed their satisfaction with the study tour and networking with other business women and they have asked organizer to make such networking a yearly event.
On May 31, 2022, Croatian Business Council for Sustainable Development (HR BCSD) as a leader of DC Croatia in partnership with Diversity Charter Slovenia, organised virtual event within European Diversity Month: Round table ‘Empowering Women in Business’
The event gathered more than fifty participants with six women who were panellists and share their experience and their story on achievement in their respective business careers. Challenges that panellists faced in their advancement within organisations, all included self-awareness, self-education and open and inclusive environment that values abilities and progressive approach.
Two ladies moderated the round table Mirjana Matešić, director of HR BCSD and Barbara Zupančič, director of DC Slovenia. Panellists were asked about their experience and views on the number of women in business, about the ability of modern company to integrate inclusion of women and inclusion in general in their business strategies, about the awareness of women of their rights, as well of their strengths and ability to use empathy in the everyday work.
All panellists, Alenka Vidič Praprotnik (PR Ageny 028, Slovenia), Dorotea Pernjak Banić (JGL, Croatia), Barbara Smolnikar (Triglav, Slovenia), Martina Mlinarić (MSG Solutions, Croatia), Sanja Vučković (RBA, Croatia) and Eva Premk Bogataj (AEIOU Universe, Slovenia) highlighted that all women should be strong in voicing their abilities. They emphasised that more and more companies are working on inclusion of all vulnerable groups in their businesses, how women are equal players to men in all business endeavours and that education of all is the crucial part of gender equality and that more women in academia is crucial for more inclusive society. Additionally, panellists stressed that women should be proud of their ambition and they should work on building their networks and to embrace all specific skills that women bring to business. As one of the panellist’s said, women should ‘roar’ when fighting for their place in business society.
After a lively debate and a numerous questions and comments from participants, the round table was concluded, and we would highlight a few points expressed by Mr. Michael Stuber:
- Women should not carry the burden of making their case, initiating change nor educating each other or men! It is Organisation’s responsibility to monitor gaps and biases and tackle it
- Women only activities can promote stereotypes and polarisation – much more than 15 years ago. Mixed gender activities IN COMPANIES ARE PARAMOUNT – women only activities can happen outside the company, and
- Recent research has confirmed what we kept ‘preaching’ – only a well-constructed, synchronised and in this sense ‘engineered’ diversity, equality and inclusion (DEI) approach will create positive impact and progress for women.