The last day of the three-day conference “Business opportunities in Slovenia”, dedicated primarily to the empowerment of women, took place on Friday, November 4, 2022, in Ljubljana. It was enthusiastically moderated by prof. dr. Maja Zalaznik, full professor of International Business and head of the International Business program at the Faculty of Economics of the University of Ljubljana and ambassador of Women’s EHF Euro 2022. Empowerment of women is one of the main topics and an important pillar of the Handball Championship.

Empowering stories from the panel of female speakers sharing their personal and professional backgrounds underlined the importance of fundamental values that burst creativity, successful management, and satisfaction are the right path to success and achievements.


Opening panel speaker, the Slovenian minister of foreign affairs, Ms. Tanja Fajon, shared the experience of being a female politician and highlighted the necessity of promoting equality and cooperation among all sectors and genders. She emphasized: “Women’s empowerment was always the focus in my political activity. As the first female foreign minister, I want to lead a responsible feminist foreign policy. Women hold almost half of middle and senior positions in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and run around 40% of our embassies. That is a data point that we can be proud of and a solid basis for the long-term fulfillment of our foreign policy commitments in the field of gender equality.”


Ms. Katarina Karlovšek, Director of RTA agency, Ambassador Women’s EHF EURO 2022, pointed out that persistence and hard work, not only in business but also in sports, is the right direction to achieve success and personal satisfaction. 


The first ever Slovene female conductor of the Slovenian National Theater Opera and Ballet Ljubljana, Ms. Živa Ploj Peršuh, mentioned: “Looking around me, the women around me are very inspiring, strong, resilient and highly focused. That is very important to me in our environment, which is politically and nationally smaller. I think there are enough women in Slovenia who are brave and know how to focus, persevere and do good. Let us continue to unite, let us continue to support each other, and let us turn all eyes from abroad to inspiring Slovenia.”


The Head of European Commission Representation in Slovenia, Ms. Jerneja Jug Jerše, presented the European Commission Gender Equality Strategy 2020 – 2025, which the key objectives focus on ending gender-based violence; challenging gender stereotypes; closing gender gaps in the labor market; achieving equal participation across different sectors of the economy; addressing the gender pay and pension gaps; closing the gender care gap and achieving gender balance in decision-making and politics.


Ms. Hedvika Usenik, Member of the Management Board, Nova Ljubljanska Banka, NLB Group, presented the role and the experience of being the first ever female Member of the Management Board in the biggest bank in the Republic of Slovenia and pointed out the necessity of supporting sport by the corporations and all hard work to achieve success.  


The conference concluded with a round table discussion with Marta Bon, Professor at the Faculty of Sport, University of Ljubljana and Coordinator of Women’s EHF EURO 2022 Ambassadors; Deja Ivanović, Sports Director and Ambassador of Women’s EHF EURO 2022 sharing the important stories from sport and how to achieve a professional and success in the sport while being a female and a professional.


“Women do and should inspire women.” 


The Slovene Handball Federation will prepare the leaflet of all the impressive speeches from today’s panel before the final match of the European Championship, which will take place on Sunday, 20 November 2022. 

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