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Nataša Marković, General Manager At Galeb Group

Effort Will Always Be Rewarded

At Galeb we have always taken great care of women. Personnel relations at this company are based on traditional values, and not on those tending to undo everything that has been built over generations, in both a social and business sense

Despite being the daughter of the company’s owner, our interlocutor had to – as she herself says – take the road less travelled. Her career has seen her pass through almost all sectors and positions, because there was no presumption that the position of the General Manager would belong to her before she merited it.

Galeb has 40 per cent women employees in production, service and administration, and more than 60 per cent in management. Women are at the helm of key departments?

This ratio is unusual for many, but it is completely ordinary for us, because with us positions are acquired through merit, commitment and results. As it is in the family, so it is in business.

The wife is the neck of the family, and the husband is the head, just as father and mother form the pillars of parenthood. Galeb is a company that was created by my mum and dad, and there everyone – from high school graduates and old employees, to family members; regardless of gender, religion and national identity – has received equal opportunities. That is how it used to be, and how it remains today. Effort and work on the job have always been valued.

You started working at Galeb immediately after completing your studies, and during your career you have passed through almost all sectors and positions, because it was not assumed that the position of the General Manager belonged to you right away?

“The Road Less Travelled When You’re the Child of a Company Owner” is a title to accompany this question. I started with receiving mails and answering the phone in the office management, which was followed by accounting, payroll service, sales, procurement and finally production.

At home I am a wife, a mother and a housewife, and in my free time I try to rest and spend time with my children.

When the biggest crises hit, I took responsibility as the responsible person at several Galeb subsidiaries… Courts, lawyers, account freezes, loans, litigation, confrontations… I was not the only one on the front line, but all that experience led to it being easier for me to handle the position of the General Manager.

You are a wonderful example of a successful woman who didn’t abandon her family, friends, or herself for that matter. How do you find time for everything?

At home I am a wife, a mother and a housewife, and in my free time I try to rest and spend time with my children. I consult with my husband about work, but after that I try not to mention work outside the factory. When you separate your work and private life, many perspectives emerge. That is sometimes difficult and it is not always even necessary to separate them, but it is certainly very useful when you arrange your day and responsibilities in a quality way. Where there is desire, time can always be found.

You were educated abroad and do a lot of business with foreigners. Could you evaluate the difference towards women leaders and women in business here in Serbia and beyond our borders?

I could not make that distinction, because a leader is a leader, regardless of whether they are male or female. Here with us, across the entire former Yugoslavia, people are warmer and more cordial in their work, unlike abroad, so if I could choose, I would always choose a job in Serbia.

Your advice for young, educated women just launching their careers:

Educate yourself. Any education, even the most regular course in anything, is more valuable than a weekend on the town. If you do a job, try to do it well, because every effort will be recognised and rewarded. Do not seek happiness abroad primarily, because only a few find it. Love and be loved, walk straight and in heels, because then there are no limits for you. And – of course – listen to your elders because of their inmense experience.

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