The number of women in management positions at Delta Holding is impressive, although professionals here were never divided according to gender, but only according to the quality of their work. They believe that diverse teams make better decisions and that this is directly correlated with the results of a successful company
After 20 years in the company in the most responsible positions, our guest tells her young colleagues not to be afraid of dedication and love for work, that it is possible to have both a career and a family, and that with knowledge and experience comes success.
Miroslav Mišković, the president of your company, wrote in his book that he always preferred to employ women. Do you know why that is?
Since its founding in the 1990s, Delta has been unique in that the president often chose women as his closest colleagues, openly claiming that they are more dedicated, precise and better workers.
More than three decades later, his attitude has not changed. Loyalty, responsibility and fostering good team relations are just some of the qualities that women have shown at Delta, justifying this choice.
From the very beginning, Delta Holding took care to provide the same opportunity to everyone. Is that still the case?
We have four women and three men on the company’s executive board. It is a fact that the number of women in management positions is impressive, but also that we have never divided professionals in the business according to gender, but only by quality. I think that diverse teams make better decisions, which is directly correlated with the financial results of a successful company.
The industry you belong to is considered male, and the entire management team of Delta Real Estate is female. Why are there so many women in a “man’s job”?
It happened spontaneously that women took leadership positions in our team, but within the teams led by my exceptional women colleagues, there are a large number of men who are responsible for every success. Many of them are recognized as experts who enrich the team day by day with their knowledge and expertise. Behind the successful women in Delta Real Estate are some exceptional men both at work and at home.
It seems to me that women in leadership positions cause more surprises abroad than here. When visiting real estate events around the world, we notice that the number of women in this industry is still at a low level. I am glad that the situation on our market is very different.
How much does a strong and professional team of colleagues means to you?
It is always important to have a professional and a strong team of colleagues, and the challenges are only there to remind us of their importance. Real teams are not built overnight, we have been building ours for more than three decades.
Demanding and innovative projects bring challenges and more difficult tasks that clearly indicate the importance of a strong team. We embark on every new project with the message “If it was easy, someone else would do it”, and this further shows that we believe that we have gathered and developed the best personnel.
Research shows that women are better managers, especially in crisis situations because they show more democracy and responsibility, they rely on the team more than men…. Do you agree with that?
Partly, because I always had male colleagues and managers who displayed these qualities. Of course, for a high-quality gender-balanced team in the company, it is important that men in all positions support their female colleagues in their advancement. These are usually men who are surrounded by strong female figures in their lives, such as a mother, sister or wife. Aware and strong men know how to appreciate and respect the fairer sex without prejudice. In every company, you must build a relationship of mutual trust, collegiality and respect for all staff, regardless of title or gender. A woman or a man in a leadership position is only someone who is first among equals.
You have been with Delta for more than two decades. You went step by step, from controlling, through Agrar and the finances of the Delta Real Estate Group, to your current position. You practically grew with the company…?
My first real job and the start of my professional career took place in the Delta system. From the very beginning, as a young financier, I followed the impressive growth of Delta. I was lucky and had the opportunity to change completely different industries and gain incredible experience without changing companies. It was exciting from the start. I mastered my first financial lessons in the framework of central controlling, and then a few years later real challenges followed in Delta Agrar. From privatisation, property purchase, restructuring, investment programmes, to participating in the establishment of the first modern orchards, farms and other adventures that were a big school in a short time.
Loyalty, responsibility and fostering good team relations are just some of the qualities that women have shown at Delta
Moving to Delta Real Estate, which was then opening the first shopping mall in Serbia and the largest residential complex, brought the knowledge that was worth paying to get. Side by side with more experienced colleagues, I had the opportunity to negotiate with foreign tenants, contractors and representatives of banking groups. These were not only business lessons but also life lessons, and I grew and changed, just like Delta.
Delta works hard to create successors for certain positions in the business system. Are you participating in the creation of a new Angelina Nekić, a new Marija Desivojević, Milka Vojvodić, Ana Dišić…?
At the beginning of 2023, the eleventh generation of young leaders will arrive at Delta. Every year, this program attracts young, ambitious and educated staff, whom we help to find their career path through mentoring. The Delta Real Estate team includes a large number of colleagues who have gone through this programme and of whom I am very proud. I enjoy watching them grow into exceptional professionals.
There are also young colleagues with whom I had the opportunity to work, who have continued their careers in one of the companies from Delta’s system or companies outside our system, I follow their careers, look forward to their successes and I am very proud that I had the opportunity to I influence their growth and development.
I believe that the task of women in management positions is to encourage their colleagues not to be afraid of dedication and love for work, that it is possible to have both a career and a family, and that success comes with knowledge and experience.
Was it difficult for you to balance work and private life?
I am what my function says, but I am also a mother, wife, sister, daughter, friend, godmother… We have to reconcile several roles and find much-needed support both at work and in the family. It’s not easy, but it’s not impossible either. In my case, a good support system is crucial, or as I joke – good logistics are needed. There are days when my work is in focus, and moments when I am more focused on my family. Every time work requires some additional engagement of me that takes me away from my family, I think that I am setting a positive example for my daughter, nieces and other young people around me. I would like them to adopt my motto “work hard, play harder”. Hard and dedicated work always pays off, it is an integral part of business life.