Friday, 31 January 2020

European Meeting on Gender Equality in Audiovisual Sector Held in Zagreb

ZAGREB, January 31, 2020 - Women are still unequally represented in the European audiovisual and media sectors, which makes the public promotion of gender equality and diversity extremely important, it was concluded at a European meeting on gender equality in the audiovisual sector in Zagreb on Thursday.

At the meeting, which took place in the Croatian Journalists Association (HND) offices, information mapping on gender equality in the AV sector was presented and conducted, and good practices identified so far were described.

The results of a research project were also partially presented. The project lasted for two years and was conducted in association with various organisations, including the International Federation of Film Producers Associations (FIAPF), the European Audiovisual Production (CEPI), the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and the International Federation of Actors (FIA).

According to data presented at the meeting, only 24% of all radio, television, and newspaper reports published in 2015 worldwide were about women, in 2014 female journalists received three times as many offensive comments on Twitter as male journalists, and as many as two-thirds of female media workers were harassed or threatened on social media in 2018.

The situation in the audio-visual sector is, unfortunately, not good, as far as gender equality is concerned. However, we can see some improvement over the last two or three years, as well as a considerable rise in hiring female directors, producers, and screen writers, said Dearbhal Murphy from the International Federation of Actors, who presented the project.

At the panel, members of the Croatian audiovisual sector presented data on women as audiovisual authors in Croatia, and pointed out the small percentage of women working on film and TV series sets.

Director Katarina Zrinka Matijević presented data on the participation of women in Croatian film making from 1990 to 2018, according to which only 7% of films made in the period were directed by women, and women composed only 2.7% of soundtracks, while they were much more represented in production (23.6% -26%), and they played the most important role in costume design (94.2%).

More news about gender equality can be found in the Politics section.

Saturday, 23 March 2019

No Significant Progress in Gender Equality in Croatia

ZAGREB, March 23, 2019 - Some of the gender equality indicators in Croatia, such as the number of boys and girls enrolled in primary and secondary schools, continue to be good, however, there has been no significant progress on other indicators such as labour market equality, female entrepreneurship, the role of women in politics and business, the status of Roma women, inequalities between rural and urban areas and the inclusion of the LGBT community, shows a gender equality analysis of the World Bank.

The analysis has detected the biggest gap in the possibility to make economic earnings considering the fact that a large number of women, youth, pensioners and members of minority groups do not have access to the labour market.

The unemployment rate among women is 19% higher than unemployment among men, and women account for 57.4% of groups that lack access to the labour market, it was said at a presentation of the World Bank analysis in Zagreb.

Women in Croatia are educated successfully at all levels, including institutions of higher education, but that does not automatically mean a higher rate of their participation in the labour market.

There is a huge gender gap among workers in Croatia, shows the report, presented by a World Bank senior expert on social development, Tara Sharafudeen, and World Bank data processing expert Paul Andres Corral Rodas.

Compared to 71% of employed active men, only 61% of active women have a paying job. For women the situation changes in the course of life - initially the level of their employment is similar to men's but in time their participation in the labour market declines.

Men in Croatia earn much more than women. The average monthly pay for women accounts for around 88% of the average pay for men, and women who work earn less than men throughout their life.

The pay gap leads to a gap in pensions, which is why after leaving the labour market women face social exclusion, poverty and financial dependence on their spouse or partner.

As many as 32% of women in Croatia aged 25-64 have been inactive due to obligations related to care while only 12% of men do household chores.

Poverty among elderly women is 35% higher than poverty among elderly men, which is especially worrying considering estimates that elderly women will be making up 15% of Croatia's population by 2035.

The Roma minority is the most socially excluded minority group, and inequality starts early for Roma girls and grows stronger in time. As many as 78% of Roma girls leave school early compared to 60% of Roma boys. Only 6% of Roma girls complete secondary or a higher level of education as against 24% of Roma males. With an 82% rate for women and a 72% rate for men Croatia has Europe's second highest rate, after Spain, of Roma who are not included in the education system, labour market or some type of training. Roma women in Croatia do the least paying jobs in the entire Southeast Europe.

LGBT persons in Croatia face a high level of discrimination, violence and harassment which significantly exceeds the EU average. According to the World Bank report, in 2012, 60% of LGBT respondents said they had been victims of violence and harassment, often in public places, and more than a half said they avoid public places as they do not feel safe there. One in four respondents who had a job in the period of 12 months before the survey felt discriminated against at work in the previous year for stating their sexual orientation and gender identity.

Croatia has one of the lowest employment rates in the EU and women are much less likely to become entrepreneurs than men. Only three percent of women aged 25-29 are entrepreneurs. Older women are more inclined to start their own business and the rate is slightly higher (8.5%) in the 60-64 age group. At the same time, only 12% of households have women in the highest positions.

Gender Equality Ombudswoman Višnja Ljubičić said that society has the duty to provide equal opportunities of success to men and women because the entire society benefits from that.

More news about gender equality in Croatia can be found in the Politics section.

Saturday, 9 March 2019

Girl Power: Meet Croatia's Most Powerful Women in Business

International Women's Day was celebrated as it is annually on the 8th of March, and in honour of that, the Croatian media published a list of the most influential women from the scenes of business, politics and science. It's rare we can sit down and read an impressive list that Croatia can actually be proud of.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 8th of March, 2019, The popular economic weekly Lider highlighted ten influential women in Croatian business circles who were interviewed in an attempt to find out the secrets of their success.

1.) Lada Tedeschi Fiorio: Women have to fight, prove and force things because that's the way of recognising their values ​​in the business community, said one of the richest Croatian women, shareholder and deputy chairperson of the Atlantic Group supervisory board, who is also the mother of two children and a successful marathon runner.

2.) Kristina Ercegović is known as an entrepreneur who expressed her attitude towards the Croatian Government and its tax policy "without filters", telling Minister Zdravko Maric to ''stop flogging a dead horse''.

3.) Going into law is the female job of the future, said Jadranka Sloković at the conference "Women in Business". Women now account for 43 percent of attorneys, while 60 percent of them are trainees.

4.) Medeja Lončar, chair of the management board of Siemens Croatia, has long been one of the few women in the Croatian technology sector. When you prove yourself, obstacles disappear, she pointed out, maybe some initially underestimated my different, ''female'' approach, but over time they learned that it does not mean I'm a simpler adversary.

5.) Vedrana Pribičević, a prominent economist of the younger generation, spoke in an interview for Lider about the lack of capitalism and lack of entrepreneurial culture in Croatia.

6.) The situation is worrisome for women who are underpaid, for women who do not have adequate child care solutions in their living environment, for further education, etc. It's important for women to have quality conditions, a choice of solutions and support, stated Gordana Kovačević, the president of Ericsson Nikola Tesla's management.

7.) Ariana Vela is one of the leading Croatian consultants for European Union funds, strategic planning, preparation and implementation of projects.

8.) Entrepreneurs need to go through changes, enter the digital age, and take their destiny in their hands. I want all of us to find strength, energy, money and the intelligence to be the change that our economy desperately needs, said Tajana Barančić, a leading business consultant from Astra Business Engineering.

9.) Suzana Kovačević is the founder of Lorien, who offered a unique product to the domestic market - designer female socks. Despite the fact that for years she has been struggling with a rigid system that has no time to spend listening to the problems of entrepreneurs, she said that she still isn't going to give up.

10.) Nevena Crljenko, director of Philip Morris International in New York, sent a message to women: Do not allow your ''male'' business environment to demotivate you, you're the one who decides that you will succeed. When you hear your inner voice saying that you can't do something, find a metaphorical hammer so you can knock it back.

Make sure to stay up to date by following our dedicated business and lifestyle pages.

Friday, 8 March 2019

Konzum: Large Proportion of Leadership Positions Held by Women!

While many continue to disregard it, gender equality in the workplace continues to be a burning issue for most. Konzum, however, seems to have it well and truly covered.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 7th of March, 2019, women account for over 74 percent of Konzum's employees, while in the retail section they account for almost 84 percent, with 84 percent of women in the chain's retail section also holding leadership positions.

From cashiers and workers in the warehouse through to employees in lower and middle management, all the way up to managers in some of the giant company's highest positions, women make up 74 percent of Konzum's employees.

Thus, more than 76 percent of all leadership positions within this huge company belong to women, and women also account for nearly 84 percent of retail workers. It is also interesting to note that women in Konzum have entered into some of the departments that were until fairly recently publicly perceived as "typically male", such as the logistics-distribution centre or the business support section.

"We are exceptionally proud to point out that the vast majority of employees in Konzum are women. Their great effort, teamwork, creativity, intuition, and their level of responsibility they put into their tasks daily enrich and enhance Konzum's business. That's why we want to thank them with a number of benefits through which we're striving to make the balancing between work and home life less difficult,'' said Slavko Ledić, CEO of Konzum, congratulating the International Women's Day for Konzum employees.

All parents of first grade kids who work for Konzum have the right to have a day off on their child's first day of the school, and there are as many as 222 other employee benefits available this school year. In December, an amount of money intended for children is paid to all parents, along with other benefits for all employees, such as benefits for newborn babies, christmas bonuses and more, the possibility of working part-time is also readily available.

Konzum has emphasised the fact that it as a company cherishes the policy of equal opportunities for women and men so that everyone gets an equal shot at opportunities for further professional advancement, additional education and training, as well as equality between women and men in high positions, and in terms of wages, so that women and men are equally paid for working in the same positions.

Make sure to stay up to date by following our dedicated business page for much more.

Thursday, 7 March 2019

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

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.

Make sure to stay up to date by following our dedicated business and lifestyle pages.

Wednesday, 6 March 2019

Women Account for 58% of Unemployed Persons in Croatia

ZAGREB, March 6, 2019 - The most frequent obstacle on the labour market in Croatia concerns discrimination against women based on age and motherhood, women account for 58% of the unemployed persons, 62% of men are aware that their status at work is more privileged than that of women, while in terms of the pay gap, Croatia is above the EU average, it was said at a conference on gender equality at work in Zagreb on Wednesday.

"When we consider the overall situation in Croatia, we can say that we are better than the EU average with regard to the employment of women and the gender pay gap. The average gender pay gap in the EU is 16-17% while in Croatia it ranges between 8 and 10%," Labour and Pension System Minister Marko Pavić said at the conference, organised by IKEA and the European Parliament Office in Croatia.

The Labour and Pension System Ministry has 14 billion kuna at its disposal from the European Social Fund and the ministry's biggest project is a project for the employment of women.

So far, 6,000 women with an unfavourable labour market status have found employment as part of the ministry programme "Make a wish". Significant funds have also been invested in supporting a directive on work-life balance, said Pavić.

Swedish Ambassador Diana Helen Madunić said that the Swedish government, together with Swedish companies, had defined a policy of promoting sustainable business and gender equality which, among other things, also refers to a gender balance on management boards and a balanced parental leave for women and men.

We believe that sustainability and gender equality are key to business success. Women account for 50% of the world's population and we have to involve them and use their resources and abilities to create successful business for the future, said Madunić.

Croatian Gender Equality Ombudswoman Višnja Ljubičić said the majority of complaints her office received referred to gender discrimination and that more than two in three women who approached the office complained about gender discrimination.

"The obstacles they report primarily concern the labour market, 45-60% of the complaints refer to that. The most frequent obstacle women encounter on the labour market is discrimination based on age and motherhood," Ljubičić said.

More news on the status of women in Croatia can be found in the Politics section.

Saturday, 5 January 2019

Ombudswoman Demands Removal of Sexist Posters from Trams

ZAGREB, January 5, 2019 - Gender equality ombudswoman Višnja Ljubičić on Friday recommended withdrawing controversial education posters against alcohol consumption from trams in Zagreb over their sexist messages that degrade women, such as a warning that women under the influence of alcohol are more likely to engage in sexual intercourse with unknown men without precautions.

The messages on the posters suggest that in men alcohol affects only their bodily functions, while in women it affects their behaviour making them promiscuous, undignified and irrational and making them lose any criteria as to who they have sex with, Ljubičić said after receiving many complaints from members of the public and media.

"Such a sex-based portrayal of women is offensive and degrading and not in keeping with the principles of equality of women and men or with national and international documents that define sexism and sexual stereotypes as one of the serious obstacles to achieving full gender equality," she said.

The ombudswoman recalled that in its Recommendation 1555 of 2002, entitled "The image of women in the media", the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly called on its member states, including Croatia, to condemn sexism in the same way as racism.

The first section of the poster, which refers to men, claims that alcohol has a bad influence on sex life and reproduction of men and reduces their sexual desire, sexual power and erection. That, they say, results in a lack of confidence.

This is followed by a second section, rather absurd, warning that drunk women like to engage in sex with random people. The poster says, "With women, alcohol leads to irresponsible sexual intercourses with unknown persons, menstrual cycle disorders and pregnancy. Through the placenta, alcohol also enters the blood of a child which can cause physical disabilities and mental retardation, the so-called fetal alcohol syndrome. "

According to info on the poster itself, it was created together by the Zagreb City Office for Health and the Centre for Education, Counselling and Personal Development CEDAR. The centre explained that the poster is part of the public drive “Healthy Choice”, which is complementary to the preventive project “Healthy!” which they have been implementing together with secondary schools since 2012. The campaign is aimed at preventing high school students from experimenting with alcohol.

Centre president Ksenija Rissi said that high school students made the posters and that they "wanted to send a message to their peers about potential direct and indirect harmful effects of drinking alcohol.”

More news on the gender equality can be found in the Politics section.

Saturday, 24 November 2018

Croatian MEP Appointed Rapporteur on Women's Rights in Western Balkans

ZAGREB, November 24, 2018 - Croatian member of the European Parliament and member of its Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality (FEMM), Biljana Borzan, has been appointed rapporteur on women rights in Western Balkans, Borzan's office said in a press release on Saturday.

According to the statement, Borzan has for years called for an official position for the region and has finalised a draft resolution on that matter. "This year the EP has responded to my request and it has been put into procedure," she said.

In her resolution, Borzan refers to the poor situation of women on the labour market. Even though women who during their studies are more successful than their male colleagues, they are in a much poorer position on the labour market, they suffer abuse and most often take over caring for children and elderly family members, she said.

"Unfortunately, violence is a burning problem in the region. There aren't enough safe houses. We have unqualified staff to deal with the victims, a slow judiciary and what is worst, examples of unreported cases of violence," she underscored.

Negotiations will commence next week and a vote on the resolution should occur at a European Parliament session in February 2019.

In March this year, Borzan was presented with the MEP Award or EU Oscar for 2017 in the category of women's rights and gender equality.

For more on women rights in Croatia, click here.

Friday, 23 November 2018

Violence against Women Due to Patriarchal Society

ZAGREB, November 23, 2018 - One of the reasons why violence against women is so widespread in Croatia and the whole world are patriarchal social relations, so it is necessary to work on gender equality to reduce the violence, it was said on Friday at a presentation of publications on procedures in sexual violence cases and the elimination of discrimination against women.

The presentation was held on the occasion of International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, observed on November 25. "Domestic and sexual violence against women is so widespread... that it's a global problem. All international organisations are trying to find a solution to prevent it, but that's very slow," said Helena Štimac Radin, head of the government's Gender Equality Office.

A 2014 European Union study showed that one in three women had experienced physical or sexual violence after the age of 15, she said, adding that one of the reasons was "that men and women are not equal."

She said the protocol on procedures in cases of sexual violence, which is aligned with the Istanbul Convention and which the government adopted in July, precisely defined the obligations of the ministries of the interior, justice, health and education as well as prosecutors' offices.

Maja Mamula of the Women's Room NGO said sexual violence was one of the gravest, yet least reported crimes which had devastating consequences on victims, their families and society.

She said statistics showed that one in five women would be a victim of rape or attempted rape during her life. A Women's Room survey from 2005 showed that 17% of women were such victims and that 95% did not report it.

"Those who decide to report violence will experience additional trauma. They will be interviewed many times, they will often be interviewed inadequately, proceedings will be long and they will get insufficient psychological help and support," said Mamula.

For more on the position of women in the Croatian society, click here.

Thursday, 22 November 2018

Croatia Falls Short as EU Demands More Women in Management Positions

The EU wants to see around 40 percent of women making up positions on company management and supervisory boards by the year 2020, and Croatia falls short. According to various results, gender-balanced business has increased revenues and directly affects GDP growth, and unemployment level is also reduced in general.

As Lucija Spiljak/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 21st of November, 2018, if women are successful, their countries are also successful - this was the conclusion of the conference on rights and business: The Positive Effects of Adopting a New European Regulatory That Strengthens Business and Women. The conference brought together women in managerial positions and was focused mainly on the overall importance of improving gender balance in managerial positions, how to properly lobby for this directive in state bodies and in private sectors, and the practice of good gender politics and examples of good practice throughout the territory of the EU.

Back in 2015, lawyer Tarja Krehić, along with fifty colleagues, founded the Croatian Association of Women in the Legal Profession, of which Krehić is president. She explained in detail the goals and the legal aspects of improving gender equality in management boards, backed by the statistics of the Republic of Croatia.

What motivated you to found the Croatian women's association in the legal profession? What does that deal with?

Law associations exist in the United States, in all European Union countries, they also act as umbrella organisations which bring together lawyers, and they observe women's empowerment trends and regulations. Since I graduated in law in the United States, I got acquainted with women's associations in the legal professions and realised how important it is for women, for business, and for justice.

In Zagreb, I gathered together colleagues, prominent judges, attorneys, and lawyers in economics. We founded the association and today we've gathered together more than 400 lawyers from all sorts of legal branches, from judges and state attorneys, to corporate lawyers and lawyers in economy. We're working on some interesting projects, and we'll begin with an academy that will be attended by students of the Faculty of Law, in order to improve their knowledge, and also for the profession to get what it needs from young lawyers.

I believe that the quality of knowledge at law faculties and at the Faculty of Law in Zagreb could be better. Practitioners who don't understand the practice and these new trends are on their way out. We're also organising a professional lecture where we bring experts and lawyers who talk more in detail about all the problems of the system with which society is not very well informed.

We deal with the legal profession, in a quality, professional, modern way, and not the conservative and traditional way in which it's being perceiving today. We also open up issues related to the EU and the effects of adopting the European regulation which empowers women in business and law.

What about the statistics on the representation of women in managerial positions in Croatia?

There's a so-called ''glass ceiling'' in the whole society and so to some extent in the legal profession. When we focus on the legal profession, more than 70 percent of lawyers are female and in the judiciary, yet we've never had a female president of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Croatia, and we've never had a female state attorney.

The Faculty of Law in Zagreb has existed for more than 240 years, and we've only had two female deans. Obviously, the status of women in our profession, as well as in general business, could be improved. There are many women in business and law who want to get into leadership positions and be leaders, but have a problem with that due to fear and a lack of ambition.

Given the rather defeating results, how do we improve the status of women in business, and thus stimulate the economy, too?

At the EU level, it was determined that women are highly qualified and skilled but not sufficiently utilised in their own professions. To improve the economy and to deal with international trends on a global level, society as a whole needs to be engaged. Having a large group of highly skilled personnel that is not adequately used presents with a problem that needs to be solved.

It places this issue as the number one issue and deals with the implementation of the [EU] directive for laying down a fixed female quota for the management boards of companies, which has already been implemented by a large number of European Union countries.

There's a law in Germany, France, Belgium, Italy, Portugal and Austria which states that the management boards of the largest companies listed on the stock exchange must have 30-40 percent women working in them, and if they don't, then they don't even have an adequately functioning company. There is another set of EU countries that don't use a quota regulation but use self-regulating measures.

Their goal is the same, and that is to have 30 or 40 percent of women on supervisory boards and within company management, not by statutory obligation, but by self-regulating measures, meaning that the business has sat down at the table and said we obviously have unbalanced management functions in terms of gender. We'll impose those rules on ourselves. For example, the United Kingdom managed to reach up to 27 to 28 percent of women in the supervisory boards of some of the largest companies in ten years by using self-regulatory measures, and they started out with just ten percent.

What should we be focusing on, and what is the level of importance of this directive, and ultimately, what are the benefits for the country?

We need to work, act, and introduce concrete measures, which unfortunately doesn't work in our country, neither by passing laws nor by self-regulatory measures. The statistics don't support us. In Croatia, 21-22 percent of women work in administrations, 19 percent work on the supervisory boards of stock exchange companies, and Europe have said that by 2020, we must have between 30 and 40 percent women in such positions.

So, we don't stand well at all and the problem is that nobody is actually dealing with this issue. We don't advocate the application of any of these methods, but we're insisting on the fact that it's necessary to act on them. It's up to the state, state bodies and the profession to decide upon the direction by which this imbalance should be resolved.

The gender-balanced business management structure has increased revenues and directly influences GDP growth, it reduces unemployment of women and unemployment in general, it improves natality and addresses pension issues as women contribute to the pension system.

Through projects like the debate on the directive, we're doing only good for our society, the EU recognises that and we want to put Croatia on the map of those countries which are dealing with the gender-balanced business issue. We want to live in a country that is advanced financially, economically, socially, and in every other aspect, and through expert engagement on these topics, we'll manage to arrive to this.

Although Croatia falls short in this respect at the moment, the situation appears likely to improve, likely at a far slower pace than most would want. Want to keep up with more information like this? Make sure to follow our dedicated politics page for much more.

 

Click here for the original article/interview by Lucija Spiljak for Poslovni Dnevnik

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