In Croatia Diversity Charter operates under the auspices of the HR BCSD and have more than 60 signatories. A year ago, at the initiative of IKEA, a group of signatories decided to go a step further and thus formed Gender Equality Alliance. By signing the Statement of the Alliance, companies are committed to achieve equal representation of women and men, promoting equal opportunities and provide equal pay for work of equal value.
On the occasion of International Women’s Day, Forum of Gender Equality Alliance was held on 5th of March in Zagreb. Representatives of member companies and distinguished guests spoke at the Forum, referring to the importance of achieving gender equality.
HR BCSD Director, Mirjana Matešić, commented: “Diversity policy is an important mechanism for promoting equality, human rights and inclusiveness. But diversity policy is also a tool for creating diverse teams whose engagement proves to be better and efficiency and innovation greater.”
Founding members of the Alliance are AstraZeneca, Atlantic Grupa, Coca-Cola HBC Croatia, IKEA Croatia and Tele2, and the new members are Bisnode, Combis, Erste Bank, Hanza Media, Hauska & Partner, IBM Croatia and Ilirija Biograd.
At the Forum, a panel was held where representatives of the Alliance spoke about their measures and business policies. On this occasion, Lada Tedeschi Fiorio, a Board Member of Atlantic Grupa, emphasised that diversity and equality cannot be promoted only once a year, but must be continuously implemented. Damir Nevjestić, CEO of AstraZeneca, said: “Our company has 50% of women globally, 44% in managerial positions, while in Croatia, 73% of our employees are women and 78% managerial positions are held by women”. Nikolaos Migkianis, Director of IKEA Croatia, stated that IKEA is trying to make its employees aware of the importance of greater involvement of men in housework, as the teaching about the diversity starts at home.
A few days prior the event, Viktor Pavlinić, Director of Tele2, addressed with a message of support for the Alliance: “Tele2 promotes diversity and provides equal opportunities for all employees. This is why we have gender balanced teams at all levels.”
The Swedish Ambassador, Diana Madunic, introduced the progressive laws passed in Sweden, which suppressed gender inequality 50 years ago. She stressed that Croatia could do better, as evidenced by the fact that Croatia had a female Prime Minister, President and a Minister of Defence. Sabina Glasovac, Chairwoman of the Gender Equality Committee of the Croatian Parliament, noted that women are not represented enough in Croatian politics, with only about 20 % of women in the Parliament.
Activities to promote diversity policies continue with the European Diversity Month. All Diversity Charter signatories are invited to choose a day or a week in May to promote diversity. By registering activities on the EU Platform of Diversity Charters, they become part of the European Diversity Month and selected organisations will have the opportunity to participate in the opening of the European Diversity Month, April 29th in Brussels.