Every positive text about the participation of women in leadership positions will start with impressive numbers and examples. Even if you assign this topic to AI, which I did to check how artificial intelligence sees this issue, you will get the same template manifesto about successful women in politics, economy, non-governmental sector.
My critical mind immediately asks the question “how many of them are really leaders” and not office holders? Because the difference is important. A leader is autonomous, a leader makes decisions, a leader creates his own team, a leader is a leader and protector of those he leads, a leader is the best among equals.
And already in this definition we see the answer to all the weakness of the position of local women leaders. Women in the highest political positions are mostly not presidents of parties, women in business are mostly appointed by governments in the public sector without much autonomy, and in private business they are rarely owners of capital, more often good managers of other people’s capital.
With all these limitations, women in management positions are becoming more and more common and necessary. The recent assembly of the American Chamber of Commerce showed that the majority of the board of directors as directors of large companies is made up of women. For a change, the “macho world” admitted that, in addition to education and the judiciary, women also manage finances and business well.
Whether this phenomenon will lead to more female private initiatives and entry into ownership in the sphere of large capital and the most profitable businesses, I do not know. Or where the most serious profits are made, such as in infrastructure, the place of women will be limited only by the appointed functions, which I am more inclined to believe. Regardless, women are taking over the world of banking, marketing, and telecommunications. We will see whether the Balkan world will readily welcome us or believe that this generation of female leaders works only on the orders of their “superiors”.
Certainly, I don’t agree to be a woman in a position if I don’t have free hands to be a leader, make decisions independently and bear responsibility for them independently. And this is a lesson that also applies to men: leadership does not lie in the position itself, but in the personal abilities to create, manage and bear responsibility.
And there are few such leaders in the Balkans, regardless of gender.
Author: Jelena Trivan, Ph.D. the General Manager (CEO) of the Mtel, a.d. Banja Luka
The Srpska Times