Is It Still More Difficult to Succeed for Women Than Men in Croatia?

Lauren Simmonds

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The answer to the pressing question of whether or not men still have an advantage in their professional lives in Croatia is mixed. In light of the quickly approaching Women’s Day, the second “Women in the Business World” survey organised by HUP (Croatian Employers’ Association) and Deloitte attempted to shed some light on the situation.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 7th of March, 2019, research was conducted by HUP and Deloitte from October to December 2018 and showcases the attitudes and thinking of 186 women and men, all of whom are working as managers in leading positions of companies and financial institutions which place special emphasis on the development of female entrepreneurship.

The number of women in management positions in companies in Croatia which are listed on the Zagreb Stock Exchange is growing steadily, but it is still less than nineteen percent. The findings of joint research by Deloitte and HUP have confirmed this. Namely, women continue to face certain barriers when it comes to building their careers. Flexible working conditions and quality infrastructure support, encouraging balance between private and business life in companies are key measures to removing these burdensome barriers, according to sixty percent of respondents.

Unfortunately, research has confirmed that women in Croatia are still finding it difficult to make further progress.

Although in the opinion 58 percent of respondents, women and men have equal financial results (sales, profits), yet as many as 77 percent believe that men are quicker in realising professional advancement.

“It’s a great pleasure for me that HUP has recognised issues related to women in business, and in Deloitte we’ve found an excellent partner. It’s important that we launched our Base of Women and we’re proud of 100 successful female leaders who are our ambassadors and are ready to take management positions at any time in companies. The women’s issue is not a topic to be solved only with Women’s Day but also throughout the year because the companies that promote gender equality are proven to be more successful and more competitive on the market,” said Gordana Deranja, president of the Croatian Employers’ Association.

New research has been carried out in more detail than research from back in 2013.

This year’s survey is even more detailed than the last one, which was carried out in 2013, with one difference: the 2013 research encompassed the views of colleagues and colleagues from neighbouring Bosnia and Herzegovina and Slovenia, while new research deals only with Croatian opportunities. The SheXO research highlights the attitudes, beliefs and thinking of women and men in the management structures of small businesses as well as in large companies.

Is discrimination already occurring during the job interview?

Almost 60 percent of the survey respondents, upon being asked the question of the current issues of the Croatian business environment, said that women in executive positions are often paid less than men in the same positions are.

Namely, as many as 57 percent of those who partook in the research claim that women are often exposed to more personal issues such as those involved in family planning.

“Investigations show that companies, where men and women are equally represented in management, recorded a 35 percent higher return on equity, and also six percent higher net profit margins. Companies with gender-balanced management are twice as resistant on the market, and time has also shown that such companies have been more likely to overcome the global crisis that hit in 2008,” as was told by Helena Schmidt.

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