Companies are increasingly willing to support gender equality. Interview with Kateřina Navrátilova – Waterdrop CEE Managing director
As a manager in a large company, what can you say about the challenges women are facing in the modern world on their way to senior positions?
Women are sometimes undervalued and there are often attempts to subject them to social stereotypes. We should fight against this attitude. In the business world, it is sometimes necessary to push hard with your elbows but it is very important not to suppress your femininity, your emotions and to treat them as your assets. We need to work on our strengths and weaknesses in order to develop professionally. It is worthwhile to be a flesh-and-blood leader, instead of one straight out of a book. Authenticity is definitely the key to success. If we force ourselves to behave in ways that do not stem from our opinions, we do not trust ourselves, and neither do our colleagues. The obstacles I see in the way of women’s success are there to be overcome.
What values and innovations can women bring to business management and development?
We are certainly an integral part of any business. Women have sensitivity, insight and a practical approach to offer, which we are naturally predestined for, unlike men. Especially when it comes to managing several things at once. Projections indicate that women’s economic power in the global economy will increase by more than a third in the next few years.
What is your personal opinion on quotas and their impact on equalising professional opportunities for women? What measures could help overcome current barriers?
Although gender quotas have many advantages, there are also some problems with the concept. Women certainly now have more opportunities in the labour market or in politics than before. Parity can prevent discrimination in society. Women and men should be considered equal, and this means that the best person should get a job, regardless of gender. In my opinion, professional equality between men and women is making progress in many European countries. Large companies are increasingly willing to support people regardless of gender and orientation, including through quotas. However, there are still industries where it is difficult for women to get ahead and they have to put in more effort than men.
In your opinion, are women in business communities particularly committed to environmental issues? How does the Waterdrop brand care about sustainability and ecology?
We certainly bring a significant amount of empathy to companies. Women are also naturally more sensitive to the environment. For Waterdrop, the environment is an overriding value, so we devote a lot of energy to solving and implementing actions that can support ecology. We firmly believe that every company will gradually contribute to sustainability in its industry. This great change is already happening! It is worth motivating customers to take steps to protect nature. Waterdrop, for example, often forms partnerships with non-profit organisations such as Sea Shepherd, with whom we jointly created a bottle design and part of the profits from its sale were then donated to support ocean conservation.
Where did the idea for Waterdrop’s innovative products such as microdrinks come from?
The whole idea was born when Waterdrop owner Martin Murray asked himself a really simple question: why isn’t there a drink that doesn’t require another plastic bottle, or that actually tastes good and is small enough? The essence of our brand was conceived by Martin in the spring of 2016, when the concept of a big thing that is very small was born: soluble microdrinks containing fruit and plant extracts compressed into the shape of a small cube. Waterdrop’s aim is to promote drinking more sugar-free, environmentally friendly water in the community.
What is important to your management style and strategy?
Empathy and the ability to listen to my team is very important to me. This attitude builds authenticity and mutual trust is the basis of all successful ideas. I also try to leave space for my colleagues to come up with new ideas and implement them.
Kateřina Navrátilová is the CEO of Waterdrop CEE. The company has been operating in the Czech Republic since 2018, and Kateřina has been at the helm since its inception. Her goal was to build a quality brand with a strong message and emphasis on environmental protection. She developed her positive relationship with nature at Mendel University in the Czech Republic, studying Garden and Landscape Architecture, as well as at TUD in Germany. She then transferred her experience from her studies to the Brno office, where she was able to realise the Waterdrop vision. Her priority is to meet her clients’ expectations of product quality, combined with a concern for the environment.
Waterdrop, whose investor and ambassador is the legendary tennis player Novak Djokovic, combines the development of its product range with care for the environment. The brand provides customers with access to eco-friendly products, designed by prominent specialists. The company believes that it is worth reducing the consumption of sugar and the amount of plastic in the world. Waterdrop is constantly adapting to the needs of the market while promoting the consumption of the right amount of fluids. It is extremely important for the company to nurture the idea of sustainability. By applying this, the brand wants to become a leader in the beverage industry.
Last Updated on September 27, 2023 by Anastazja