Women in Business: Challenges and barriers on the path to success. Bogi Gabrovic, Deputy Country Head, CTP Poland
What is causing the lack of promotions of more women to top positions?
We see the cause of not getting promoted primarily in ourselves, but there are still many social and structural factors that disturb the gender balance in the highest positions.
Gender discrimination is one of them. It is still a problem, which can affect women’s career advancement opportunities. Superstitions and stereotypes about gender roles can limit their chances of taking on high positions. Women often face difficulties in maintaining a work-life balance, which can make it difficult to advance at the management level. The lack of flexibility in the organization, taking into account the role of women in raising children, is a big negative factor here.
The lack of adequate corporate programs and policies to support gender equality can make it difficult for women to gain the skills and experience they need to advance. Often, non-existent or inadequate support structures for women in the organization contribute to this state of social imbalance.
Unfortunately, the factors inhibiting the development of women in organizations, most often in smaller urban centers, are still cultural norms and expectations towards gender roles, which affect women’s career choices and how they are perceived in the context of their professional careers. In order to break down these barriers, it is important to take action at social, corporate and institutional levels to promote gender equality and enable women to advance their careers.
Do women lack go-getters mentality in competing for top positions? Maybe they are not aware of their own competence?
In my opinion, women often lack confidence and self-belief in their abilities. They don’t know how to “fight” for themselves. This is due to educational stereotypes, where more emphasis was placed on the daughter being proverbially “polite” and not harsh and fighting for her opinion. Often, relatively simple mentoring programs and support from people in senior positions would be very helpful for women aspiring to leadership roles.
Did you show leadership qualities as a teenager? Maybe you were active in the school council or you were the class president?
In my case, it has been natural since I was a child. Since kindergarten, I have been organizing and leading backyard teams. Later, during my studies, I managed youth organizations such as AISEC or school self-governments. I would always strive to be in the decision-making center, I have always been interested in how to motivate large groups of people to work together, how to read people’s characters and properly engage them in order to achieve the goal as effectively and quickly as possible.
Have you met a business mentor in the course of your career – someone who has helped you grow?
Yes, I was very lucky to meet on my path two incredible individuals. The first time was during my stay in the USA. At the time, I was working for one of the largest hospital supply companies in America. The COO was a charismatic, but also very open person. He knew how to listen to people very well, built in them self-confidence and thus pushed them to overcome their own barriers.
The second such person I met on my professional path is Olga Siddon – PWC CEE Partner. The first woman at PWC to hold such a high position in the organization. Her inner peace, methodical approach to her role and ability to combine work and family life were very inspiring for me. She is still my mentor.
What is the importance of education in shaping future female leaders? Do you think anything needs to be changed in the current curricula so that women have more opportunities to develop in the future?
It seems to me that in today’s world, the educational program is properly developed. Not the curriculum, but the equal promotion to development in the home environment should be nurtured. More work on the part of parents and the support of life partners in equal development is of great importance.
There are more men in managerial positions, so women should find mentors who will build them up and ensure them in their path.
Has success in business changed you? How do you compare your current self to the person you were at the beginning of your career?
Hmm…. What changed me, gave me more confidence in this professional and personal development are experiences. It reassured me that many paths can be used to achieve the same goal – some are longer, some shorter. It is important to have a goal and to pursue it, and to draw wisdom from each new event or experience.
What do you think motivates women the most to achieve success and break down barriers?
What motivates women to take action are other women. Women who have achieved a lot are inspirations for others. Strong individuals who have achieved a lot but at the same time maintained their personal balance and their femininity.
Bogi Gabrovic serves as Deputy Country Head at CTP Polska. She is responsible for strategic management of the company, brand awareness, and Polish real estate portfolio development, currently covering over 2.8 million sq m. land in Polish land bank. She focuses her activities on the expansion of local business, one of the three key growth markets in the Group’s portfolio.
Expansion and growth of a strong team of experts and close cooperation with business stakeholders also are part of her responsibility. Her ability to set investment priorities and leadership skills contributed to the decisive strengthening of CTP’s position in Polish market.
Bogi has over 25 years of experience in investment evaluation, capital raising, also in asset, risk and fund management in all real estate classes which she acquired while working for, among others, international organizations in the USA and Europe. As a leader, he presents high level of entrepreneurship and developed leadership skills obtained while running her own business in the USA. In her career she has repeatedly guided companies through complex expansion, reorganizations, capital restructure and development. Before joining CTP Polska, she was associated with such brands as Golub Co, White Star Real Estate/AIG-Lincoln or PwC.
Last Updated on January 29, 2024 by Anastazja Lach