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Jelena Vuković, Human Resources Director At Bambi

Women Leaders – An Inspiration For New Generations

An ever-increasing number of women are taking on prominent positions in society. Their efforts are permanently changing the world for the better, and many of them are an inspiration for new generations of girls to be even bolder in fighting to realise their dreams

The HR director of the Bambi company, Jelena Vuković, emphasises that a society of equal opportunities is not merely an ideal towards which we’re striving, but rather a business and life philosophy that we must all work honestly towards achieving together.

Your company’s best-known brand, Plazma, is using the campaign “Equality comes from the home”, to direct public attention towards gender inequality on the economic, political and social fronts. How can gender stereotypes be overcome?

Knowledge is an engine of progress and change. That’s why it’s the strongest asset in the fight to overcome all stereotypes. Lifelong education on gender equality, with a special focus on younger generations, creates space to develop a better understanding of this problem and, ultimately, to overcome it.

Of course, it isn’t enough for us to only discuss gender equality once a year, while commemorating a holiday dedicated to women.

The position of women in society, along with their economic and social empowerment, must be a ubiquitous theme, both in public and within families, which represents the foundations of a healthy society, the stability and values of which – such as respect, appreciation and equality – should serve as a model for the generations of girls and boys who will shape the future of this world. Only continuous public discourse, alongside the educating of young people about the importance of equality, can contribute to us living in a more just and equal reality, free of any kind of discrimination.

How does Bambi impact on the empowerment of the women in its ranks?

We can boast of having a truly impressive number of wonderful women in our ranks, whose energy, knowledge and selfconfidence make us very proud. It’s important to us that all our female colleagues know that the company stands behind them strongly, which is why we try to constantly provide them with opportunities for personal advancement and development. Simultaneously, both within our organisation and externally, we promote and celebrate their versatility, achievements and professional dedication, because we know that they’ve exerted maximum effort to ensure that the company’s results are at an enviable level. Women currently hold 47 per cent of managerial positions in our company, while our goal is for that to quickly reach 50 per cent. That percentage certainly isn’t as important as an equal chance for development, regardless of gender and with evaluations based solely on performance and capability.

Considering that you hold a senior management position at Bambi that brings with it great responsibility, how do you personally strike a balance between your professional and private life?

Apart from good personal organisation and the setting of priorities, one great advantage is certainly the working flexibility provided by the company, but also the understanding and support of colleagues that I can always count on. The fact that we are extremely dedicated to one another and to the building of strong teams that – regardless of gender, position or years of experience – support each member in developing their full professional potential, while at the same time respecting their time for personal life, makes us feel good in our workplace and maintains our enthusiasm to always strive for improvement.

What advice would you give to women who are just beginning their careers?

When you look around you, you’ll spot an entire array of wonderful and amazing women who achieve fantastic results in all fields and astound us with their charisma and competence. What’s particularly impressive is their fearlessness when it comes to imposing themselves and making their mark in a “man’s world”, and hidden behind that strength stand years of investing in knowledge and education. That’s precisely why I always encourage my female colleagues to believe in themselves and work on their own development, because we are the ones who break down barriers and set boundaries. So, everything’s up to us, and the only thing that counts at the end of the day is the effort you’ve exerted to create a world that’s tailored to you.

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