This year, B2Kapital board member Tanja Miljanić Presečki joined the Croatian Base of Business Women, launched by the gender equality ombudswoman and the Croatian Employers’ Association.
Joining this important initiative was the logical thing to do because we and the initiative’s creators and members share the same desire to promote and support as many women as possible in all business decision-making and create better conditions for their professional career development.
Equal representation of women and men in top management positions is still a global challenge. In some cultures, these efforts are more easily implemented, but in others, it is more difficult. Along with our personal decision to develop further, the critical part of our professional path is our employers’ support, and the degree to which they appreciate the knowledge and skills of each of their employees, regardless of their sex, race, religion or political outlook.
The B2Holding Group has been nurturing this particular culture internationally, and over the past years, they have recognized the need to strengthen gender diversity among their managers throughout Europe. Taking part in the SHE Index international study, which analyzes companies’ willingness to promote gender equality at the top management level, B2Holding Group was ranked 15th at the Oslo Børs. Today, women account for 35 percent of the overall international management, with the explicit intent to generate the best possible results in the Group’s executive management in the future.
In Croatia and other B2 Kapital members across Central Europe (Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina), we are proud of the current status of gender diversity among our overall team. Presently, women hold 55 percent of the region’s management positions on average and account for more than 65 percent of the total headcount. The situation is nearly identical in Croatia. We strive for gender balance and believe it to be fundamental for the development of not just our company, but the entire finance industry. Looking at the Top 20 global finance companies worldwide, women still make up less than a quarter of the top management. There is definitely room for balance, especially taking into account the total impact the finance industry has on the financial health of each individual, family or company around the world.
The specific nature of our financial services has demonstrated that a good mixed-gender team is necessary to create good dialogue, reach solutions and, eventually, yield market growth. We cannot imagine making good-quality agreements with clients and creditors without the teamwork put in by both men and women at all levels. In our claim management work, where it is extremely important to reach the best possible solution for all sides, we strive to nurture good management skills and high emotional intelligence in particular. If we apply it to every part of our work, from direct client communication to strategic decision-making, we are creating an overall balanced team who know what they are doing and what they are striving for, and who believe in and build their success at all levels.
Great support in this effort includes the continued training and programs in the B2Holding Group. Great attention is placed on sharing the best practices and creating opportunities to develop international careers.
Since 2017, central European employees have been participating in the Future Potentials (FuPo) in-house program, which motivates, develops and invests in young talents. All of them are candidates for the in-house B2 Leadership Academy, which prepares them for future management positions and provides international support by sharing knowledge with more experienced management. These programs now include an equal number of potential women and men leaders, giving us wind at our back to achieve total gender balance in the near future, wherever we do our business.
This way we remain completely dedicated to sharing knowledge, building the best teams, attracting the best talent and creating opportunities to achieve the best possible results through work and study.
We believe our work with the Base of Business Women will encourage other companies to follow our example or use our experience to spark changes that will benefit all members of our society.