As considerable differences exist in the access to economic opportunities between men and women in Kosovo, women in particular face a life of constrained potential in holding management and board level positions in the private sector. According to the UNDP Human Development Report of 2012, less than 3/10 of Kosovar women participate in the workforce, and only 1/10 is in work. Recent data derived by a study conducted by the Contract Law Enforcement Programme in Kosovo showed that across 900 business survey participants, 23.8% of the total workforce of 6,719 people were women and 76.2% were men. Furthermore, out of 1,602 reported female employees, only 10.17% hold managerial positions across the respondent organisations as opposed to 89.83% who don’t.
Here at RTC we create and execute projects that matter to us and those which we believe will also matter and make a tangible difference to our societies. ‘Women in Business’ is one such project of which we are extremely proud. RTC Consulting holds a long-term framework agreement with the World Bank and International Finance Corporation (IFC). In this context, the Women in Business (WIB) Program was a projected ideated and initiative by RTC in 2014 with a first group of 15 women and the main aim of establishing a support mechanism to women who are already working and hold managerial positions in Kosovo’s private sector. The initiative included provision of training and mentoring through a network of selected local and international mentors with an outstanding background in business leadership and management.
Due to its success and given high demand, RTC with the support of the World Bank and the Swiss Development Cooperation Office in Kosovo continued the second cycle of the programme in 2015 with 13 additional women participants.
The WIB Programme participants from two cohort groups have undergone a selection process and been part of a three day intensive training activity, as well as a number of mentoring sessions with selected male and female mentees who run established business.
Objectives of the Programme
We hope to run the WIB Programme on a yearly basis and make it part of a business and career progression practical learning portfolio. Specifically, the objectives of the programme are:
• Empower young women to successfully build their careers and grow their organizations
• Learn from successful businesswomen and men in how to sharpen business skills and understand how business works
• Develop skills and knowledge in management and leadership as well as business development and strategic planning practices
• Provide guidance in how to build credibility, self-awareness and relationships with others
• Improve internal organisational practices including: strategic management; human resources; operations management; control environment; risk management etc.
and graduation from the programme of WIB participants
Outcomes and Achievements
The programme participants from two cohort groups have implemented 25 individual projects within their companies in order to establish corporate governance practices and procedures, as well as strategic planning and business development practices. A key requirement to graduate successfully from the programme is to produce work and processes on: Internal Control; Operations Management; Business Development Strategy; Risk Management; Risk Mapping and drafting Contract Terms; Corporate Social Responsibility and Human Resource Development and Architectural Project Design.
In light of the popularity, success and feedback by participants, in 2016/2017 we hope to be able to continue the implementation of the WIB programme by enrolling the third group of 15 women participants in managerial positions and 15 other women participants who have just started working in the private sector and who aspire become senior executive manager in future.