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Doris Danilović, Deputy Director, German-Serbian Chamber of Commerce

Mutual Support Is Extremely Important

There is a growing trend in the number of women in high positions, which is an excellent sign, but it is still important to address the essential problems that are not statistics but the real situation

As Deputy Director of the German-Serbian Chamber of Commerce, I cooperate with many companies that have mostly foreign capital, our member companies of which there are over 370, mostly with a share of German or foreign capital. Of these companies, 70 have women as legal representatives. Compared to 10 years ago, that is a significant step forward and should encourage and motivate us. We can also mention that based on data researched by Statista, a German statistics company, Serbia is currently in 21st place in terms of the proportion of women in leading positions.

In our country, the percentage is as high as 33.5%, while in Germany it is lower, 28.4%. What I can confirm from my experience is that cooperation with companies in which women are in management positions has sometimes been easier because there is a slightly greater or broader sensitivity, attention to detail and operational flexibility. And I am glad that to my knowledge, this impression is shared by most of the business world, so I cannot attribute it to subjectivism or some kind of women’s solidarity or support.

The “glass ceiling”, officially invisible, but a really existing limit for careers and even women’s income in Serbia, is a legacy of a deeply traditional, patriarchal culture that we are not succeeding in shifting.

We should all work together to break down the restrictions in the form of a ‘glass ceiling’, imposed prejudices, to work on support, which we need from everyone.

And when we talk about the importance of support, I cannot fail to mention another personal example, just how important mutual cooperation and support can be to us so-called “chamber women” (as we are known in the jargon), who do a very specific and complex job in our bilateral organisations. This kind of support and cooperation has also brought prosperity, generally economic, to all our organisations, and thus to their member companies. I can mention with satisfaction on behalf of all my women colleagues in other bilateral organisations that we have excellent cooperation, which we also nurture through mutual support whenever needed. It also comes from an awareness of the necessity of the same, from the sensibility of each of us individually, and certainly from understanding and seeing the bigger picture and wider goals than individual ones, in the sense of common and general prosperity.

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