Women in Leadership in Bulgaria – online event on 08.03.2021

At an event of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation and the Council of Women in Business in Bulgaria:

A quarter of all employees will continue to work remotely 2-3 days a week

A quarter of employees will continue to work in home office 2-3 days a week, which is seven times more than before Covid-19. These are the results of a CWBB survey presented at the event “Women in Leadership in Bulgaria. Challenges and opportunities”. The event was organized by Konrad Adenauer Foundation Bulgaria, and CWBB participated as a co-organizer.

A significant increase, more than five times in e-commerce as well as a significant accelerating pace in automation and robotics was caused by the pandemic according to survey participants.

“About one- third of the participants in the survey believe that the crisis will have a negative impact on women’s career development compared to men, and about 15% say the opposite – that the opportunities for professional fulfilment of women will increase in the medium term,” said Vanya Minkova, Executive Director of CWBB, in presenting the results of the survey. The data also show that the pandemic has extended women’s working hours up to 12 hours a day in some cases and has increased care for children and loved ones.

At the event on women’s leadership three ladies, members of the Council, shared their points of view.

Teodora Petkova, CEO and Chairman of the Management Board of UniCredit Bulbank, gave her five pieces of advice to the ladies who want to pursue their personal heights: “Give yourself 100% in what you do. The path to your dream career goes through giving the best of yourself. If you see that you are not giving 100% of your potential, raise your hand and take on new challenges “, advises the ladies Teodora Petkova. Her second piece of advice was not to stop learning and developing. Keep expanding the circle of people who support you,” was the third rule of the CEO of UniCredit Bulbank. Here she sees the purpose of CWBB, which is an organization that supports more good ideas to come true. In addition, Teodora Petkova advised ladies not to identify themselves with the role they already have and to keep thinking critical, to seek corrective action. “Be yourselves. Our strength is in our authenticity – we must use our strengths, the best of our true selves. Each of us is happiest when we are ourselves,” she concluded.

Gergana Ivanova, co-owner and manager of the advertising agency The Smarts, presented her perspective on how the business has changed in this exactly one year since the beginning of the pandemic and which are the businesses with future:

Today’s business more than ever needs leadership with humanity and purpose. The crisis has accelerated all processes such as digitalisation, but no less important is the fact that business is already putting people at the center. Although triggered off by the pandemic this transformation has shown that the future of a successful company has a human face. ”According to her the trend to work with customer’s heart and soul is already seen in a much wider range of businesses. “Solidarity has helped us getting little bit easier through this crisis and we need to keep it. I believe that when you have a successful business your role in society is much more important than making a profit – we must fight to build an ecosystem of entrepreneurs, to have more justice and freedom to create, we must fight for a better education and for bringing our children home from abroad,” pointed Gergana Ivanova out.

Adv. Gabriela Velinova, Managing Partner of Frontex Legal Services, presented the most common difficulties encountered by new businesses. “There are many obstacles beyond us, but when we start a new business, we have to be prepared at least for the predictable difficulties. It is very important how to present our business idea – the right idea, presented in the right way to the right people at the right moment,” said adv. Velinova. She pointed out the elaboration of a good business plan as significant part of the full picture. “In addition, entrepreneurs must take into account that for some time their costs will exceed revenues. This requires clarity regarding costs even if it means to be recorded each of them. It is also a big challenge, especially in the beginning, to devote enough time for both planning and pricing, ” she advised start-up entrepreneurs.

According to her anyone, who is now taking the first steps doing business, should be aware, that by his business development it would be possible to arise legal issues to be prepared for. However, the main efforts should be focused on the creation of the so-called customer trust and adaptability to any situation.

* According to the epidemic situation in the country the meeting was held through a digital plattform.



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