Zagreb, December 8th – Tamara Sardelić, Chairwoman of the Supervisory Board at Meritus ulaganja (Mplus), took part in the conference, "CORPORATE GOVERNANCE IN FOCUS: The Perspective of the Directive on Gender-Balanced Boards in Croatia," held at the Croatian Journalists' Association in Zagreb. Organized by The European Parliament in Croatia in collaboration with the Croatian Association of Women in the Legal Profession (HUŽUPP), the conference delved into legal regulations surrounding gender equity in leadership roles within Croatian companies and explored the anticipated positive financial impacts on both businesses and society.
The directive, focusing on improving gender balance in the management and supervisory boards of publicly listed companies, has been adopted at the close of 2022, and member states are obliged to transpose it into national legislation by the end of 2024.
The opening address at the conference featured speakers such as the Croatian State Secretary, Vedrana Šimundža Nikolić, Vice President of the European Parliament, Evelyn Regner, and the head of the European Parliament Office in Croatia, Maja Ljubić Kutnjak.
The discussion on gender-balanced management unfolded in two panels. In the first panel, "Regulator and Financial Sector Perspective," moderated by Nataša Novaković, Member of the Supervisory Board of HUŽUPP, insights were shared by experts and industry leaders such as Boris Vujčić, Governor of the Croatian National Bank; Ivana Gažić, President of the Management Board of the Zagreb Stock Exchange; Andreja Hašček, Head of the Issuers Supervision Directorate at Croatian Financial Services Supervisory Agency (HANFA); and Pavle Djurić, Assistant Director and Senior Advisor at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).
In the second panel, "Business Perspective," Mplus’s Tamara Sardelić joined several other experts, including Andrea Doko Jelušić, Executive Director of AmCham; Vedran Bajer, Director of Microsoft Croatia; Marijana Bačić, Member of the Management Board and Chief Operating Officer for Business Customers at Hrvatski Telekom; and Ana Falak, Director of Branch Services at Croatian Employers' Association (HUP). This panel, moderated by Tarja Krehić, President of HUŽUPP, addressed crucial business perspectives on gender balance.
Tamara shared insights from Mplus’s perspective and experience, stating, "At Mplus, we have not encountered significant challenges when it comes to the presence of women in corporate governance. Gender equity, women's empowerment, and a supportive system in their developmental path are integral aspects of our corporate culture. With over 14,000 employees in our group, more than 60% are women. The percentage of women in leadership teams increased by 3% in the past year, reaching 46% as of December 31, 2022, and based on preliminary data for 2023, we expect further growth."
In a subsequent statement, Tamara emphasized the competence and success of women in Mplus's leadership team at the group level. She highlighted Marija Radovanović, a member of the Management Board and CFO of the Workplace vertical at Mplus Group, overseeing 14 operational companies in six countries with specialization in various HR services. Tamara also highlighted Cemile Banu Hizli, who leads Mplus's largest company in terms of personnel and is recognized as one of the most influential female CEOs in Turkey. Another noteworthy instance involves Ana Babić, who initially began her career at Mplus in a non-executive role. She has since advanced within the company over the years and presently holds the positions of a member on the Supervisory Board and Director of Corporate Governance and Compliance.
Photos by European Parliament - Croatian Office