of Delyan Petrishki, Dnevnik with Daneta Zheleva, CEO of Industrial Holding Bulgaria plc
Year 2007, issue 99 of 28 May 2007
How would you explain the growing presence of women in the management teams of our public companies?
“Generally,the growing presence of women in management teams is a worldwide trend.An eloquent example is that for the first time in its 371-year historythe Harvard University has a woman president. Of course, we should notforget the fact that until a little while ago that was an exception. Itis not a coincidence that according to official data, just 16% ofmanagement teams of the Top 500 of the biggest American companies arewomen. I don’t think the situation is more different in Europe. Thereinforced presence of women in management teams is probably also theresult of the reforms in the society during the last decades, whichensured access of women to a better and more prestigious education. Itis precisely this generation of highly educated and ambitious women whomake careers at present.”
Which are the sectors where women are preferred as bosses?
“InBulgaria, women are preferred in the management of companies offeringfinancial services, as well as in businesses necessitating directcontact with consumers. Indisputably, nowadays women are in no wayinferior to men in terms of education, professional qualification andexperience. Thanks to their natural intuition, a considerable amount ofpragmatism and, not in the least place, their charm, women have abetter chance to comprehend and respond to the expectations of theirpartner or client.”
By what are women superior to men managers and vice versa?
“Iwould not speak of superiority, moreover, one way or another, thebusiness world is dominated by men. In business like in family, weshould talk about balance and mutual complementation. It is not bychance that good teams never comprise only of women or only of men. Ithink that successful women should not try to be like men, at leastbecause their power is in being different. Anyway, the innate sense ofwomen of constructiveness, of development and preservation is certainlya plus for any business. On the other hand, men are believed to possessbetter analytical skills and decisiveness.”
What does it mean to work in a team dominated by men and what more did you learn by experience in your way to the summit?
“Successfulmanagement is not associated with domination but with the ability towork in a team. This, of course, is not easier but one should takechallenges. The efforts, a woman should make to impose herself in ateam comprising mainly men, are few times stronger than usual. But whenyou feel pleasure from your work, don’t lose your sense of humour andcan say “No”, you see that the professionalism and persistency areappreciated.”
• Daneta Zheleva took the positionof an Executive Director of Industrial Holding Bulgaria in July 2003.Then, she was also elected a member of the Management Board. She joinedthe management team of the company in September 1999 as arepresentative of Dia Expert EOOD. She has a 10-year experience as alawyer in the Sofia Bar Association. Ms. Zheleva is a member of theManagement Board of the Bulgarian Industrial Capital Association.