HE Stella Ronner-Grubacic, the Ambassador of the Netherlands, was the special guest of Women Power event, organized last week by OZB Magazine and IWA Romania. Women Power celebrated the launching of a new section in the magazine, one dedicated to women. The first interview for the new section will be actually a cover-story with HE Stella Ronner-Grubacic, for the April edition of the magazine.
We can only do this with the help of some great partners, people who believed in OZB Media and see the benefit of our platform.
A big thanks to: Embassy of the Netherlands, IWA Romania, Superbet, Chivas, Avincis Wines, Leonidas, Micri Gold, Renaissance Art Gallery, Three Happy Brewers.
You can read below the speech of the HE Stella Ronner-Grubacic:
For me, being asked to talk about Women Power, means talking about women leadership. So allow me to say a few things about this.
The World Economic Forum recently estimated that gender parity globally may now be more than 170 years away. Previously, they estimated an 80-year time. Then it was 120 years. So we see a continuing slow down.
So the question we should pose ourselves today, ladies, is: how are we going to speed up. Who is going to address the inequalities of this world which is largely led and governed by men. Because it is a world led by men. We have numbers for that as well: only 22.8 per cent of all national parliamentarians are women and only 18.3 per cent of government ministers worldwide are women.
Obviously, a good starting basis for addressing inequalities is having the necessary legal framework. Legislation promoting gender equality and combating any form of discrimination. However, simply to have the legal framework developed and adopted is not enough. We need implementation, we need to have the laws enforced.
The Istanbul Convention is an important legal istrument. Romania has adopted it two years ago but the legislation translating it into national law is still pending.
Now that Romania is having a woman as Prime Minister for the first time in its history, I think women in this country have every hope to believe that concrete actions will be taken towards harmonizing the existing Romanian legislation with the provisions of the Istanbul Convention. As a matter of fact, I had the pleasure of meeting with Mme Prime Minister less than 2 weeks ago and we had an engaging discussion about what we can do to improve the position of other women.
There still is a lot to do. We need to address many issues if we really want to change things. We need to change gender patterns in our own organizations (such as my own MFA), where gender patterns result in an often unconscious bias. This unconscious bias or biased recruitment pattern is the tendency of those who do the selection to look for candidates that resemble themselves (men). So women that strive for a leadership position need to respond to certain characteristics that are generally considered to be important for the succsful fulfillment of those positions – and that are generally ‘male’ qualities, such as dominance, strength or even toughness, a focus on business and less on relation. Whereas women are generally perceived as more performing in communication, an inclusive style of leadership, friendliness, even fragility.
This, among other things, has resulted in the fact that in my ministry we still have not managed to have 30 pct of women in ambassadorial positions. On a global level, in diplomacy, the situation is more difficult: 85% of ambassadors are men. What is more, it turns out in addition, that women are less likely than men to end up as ambassadors in countries with the highest economic and military status, the so-called high status positions. While women end up in low-prestige ones. The pattern of women trying to achieve these high-status positions, is not gradual, but rather follows the glass ceiling form, i.e. it is not as if women cannot reach the top at all (and some women clearly do succeed in reaching the most prestiguous military and economic postings), but women’s prospects for doing so are worse than for our male counterparts. And: it becomes more and more complicated as women get higher up in the organization.
To conclude, there is a lot of work ahead. The road to perfect equality between men and women is still long and at times steep. And we may encounter setbacks. It places a burden on those of us who have succeeded getting into a position where our voice is heard: we need, no we are obliged, to raise awareness, both inside and outside of our organizations. We have to generate the change will make this world friendlier to our daughters and granddaughters. If we do not start doing things differently, who will? To end with a quote that I came across recently: if you do what you have always done, you will get what you have always gotten.
Let’s begin to change – today.
If you missed our great event, don’t worry, we have some great things coming up for 2018!! Events where you can enjoy Art & Design, OZB’s Cool Pool Party and a lot more. Oh yes, at the end of 2018 we will have our “Gala of the year”, this will be quite different from what you are used to. But that’s of course something that you can expect of OZB, we like to do things in a different way !