Women on Boards Adria joins forces with Europe’s leading association for women on boards

10/10/2023

Women on Boards Adria, a regional non-profit association dedicated to promoting gender equality in decision-making across companies of the Adria region, officially launches its activities. The newly established strategic partnership with European Women on Boards (EWOB) aims to enhance female representation on boards of directors and in executive roles within the Adria region, in accordance with the European Union (EU) requirements outlined in the ‘Women on Boards’ Directive.

Multiple analyses indicate that the countries of the Adria region fall short of EU standards in terms of female representation on the management boards of large companies, and women continue to be underrepresented in executive roles within these companies.

Women on Boards Adria (WOBA) strives to change that by promoting the importance of gender diversity for responsible business practices and encouraging companies to appoint more women to their boards of directors. Through education, training, the establishment of a network of talented women leaders, cooperation with companies, governments, international institutions, and civil society organisations, we aim to encourage greater representation and inclusion of women at all levels. By advocating for the harmonisation of gender policies with EU standards, we intend to change the statistics of the Adria region,” said Biljana Braithwaite, Chair of the Women on Boards Adria association.

Braithwaite emphasises that: “Our objective is to promote inclusive decision-making within companies, eliminate barriers hindering women from joining boards of directors, and support their progress toward executive and senior management roles within regional companies, in accordance with the ‘Women on Boards’ Directive, which aims to introduce transparent recruitment procedures in EU companies. By June 30, 2026, the Directive aims to ensure that at least 40% of non-executive director posts or 33% of all director posts in all large publicly listed EU companies are held by women.

The partnership and cooperation between Women on Boards Adria and European Women on Boards, the European organisation responsible for overseeing the implementation of the ‘Women on Boards’ Directive in 27 EU countries, hold significant importance for our region. With their support, expertise, and the exchange of best practices from across Europe, we aim to take strategic steps forward in fostering more inclusive and gender-balanced leadership across the Adria region. EWOB’s experience, especially in their successful advocacy for introducing gender quotas in EU boardrooms, serves as a valuable source of insight. We look forward to learning from their achievements in advancing gender equality in boardrooms and leadership positions within large companies,” emphasised Braithwaite.

European Women on Boards has been contributing to gender diversity at the decision-making level in Europe for a decade, in particular through strong collaboration with national organisations aiming to improve the gender balance on corporate boards. We look forward to the positive impact coming from our new partnership with Women on Boards Adria thanks to joint initiatives in the region, best practice sharing with other European markets, and participation in our workgroup supporting the implementation of the ‘Women on Boards’ Directive,” said Silvia Wiesner, Chair of the Partnership and Membership Committee at EWOB.

Braithwaite added that: “Within the Women on Boards Adria association, we look forward to all future collaborations with numerous regional initiatives and organisations dedicated to empowering women economically and promoting inclusive decision-making in companies at all levels.

Women on Boards Adria, a regional initiative, was officially presented in April 2023 at the leading Western Balkans ESG summit held in Montenegro. The initiative, co-organized by Sustineri Partners, garnered support from various regional companies as well as international organisations like European Women on Boards and Women at the Table.

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