Being a company which was first to adopt the Gender Equality Policy in Serbia in 2012, NIS laid a sound foundation for a strategic and long-term approach to empowerment of women’s role at all management levels. Since then, a series of initiatives aimed at affirming, improving, and reforming the approach to gender equality, not only within the company, but in the wider community as well, has been implemented.
NIS’ devotion to respecting the principle of equal opportunities is permanent. Among other documents, NIS is also a signatory of the United Nations’ Women Empowerment Principles (WEPs). Also, “Women’s Network” was established in 2016 under the auspices of the company. This is an association whose goal is to promote gender equality and monitor integration of the WEPs in all business areas.
“In NIS, women account for 15% of the top and senior management, and 34% of the middle management”, says Natalija Bilenok, Deputy CEO and Director of the Organisational Affairs in NIS. When asked if being a woman has affected her professional development and to what degree, she replied:
“Many factors influence our professional and career path, such as education, work experience, and many more, so I assume that being a woman also affected my business career. I made the right choices in education and occupation – I am a historian and psychologist, and I later did an MBA in human resource management. This is a professional direction where certain competences, such as high emotional intelligence, systemic thinking, seeing the bigger picture, multitasking, empathy, ability to recognise diverse options take priority over gender. These qualities are traditionally considered strong feminine characteristics. I agree that the so-called “vote silence” still exists. This is the social prejudice that women devote more time to raising their children, that they are not focused on their career, and so on. I was lucky enough not to face such issues on my development path, and I can assure you that, when it comes to career, there are definitely no obstacles or inequalities in our company.”