Dorota Czerwinska-Rybska, Managing Board member Polisa, Head of HR Compensa, Poland (photo)

Dorota Czerwińska-Rybska, Member of the Managing Board, Polisa, Head of Human Resources, Compensa,
Warsaw, Poland

What would be different if there were more women in management positions, Ms Czerwi´nska-Rybska?

Czerwińska-Rybska: Until recently, leadership positions have predominantly been held by men and men were therefore stereotyped to be more effective leaders. But fortunately, this is outdated at the beginning of the 21st century. The gender difference certainly doesn’t play a role in my own day-to-day work as a senior manager and HR manager. Whenever I receive an application for a managerial position, after looking through the resume I generally ask myself the following questions:

How open does this person seem to me? What professional skills and experience does the applicant bring to the company? How strong is this person’s enthusiasm for work? Do I sense the motivation to achieve our goals, to learn and work with us? How strong a personality does the applicant bring to the company? Enough to bring new energy, new ideas and new spirit into our team? As you can see, gender doesn’t play a role in my considerations at all.

“Companies with a high proportion of women managers are more family-friendly.”

In fact, I have already had the chance to observe how mixed teams can bring added value and positive change to management. The rather more competition-oriented and self-reliant male management style combines well with classic female qualities like empathy, team-building and communication skills. When combined in a team, they simply help to expand horizons. This means better problem solving skills and, ultimately, increased competitiveness.

If I look closely at companies with a large share of female managers – something I naturally do – then I notice an important difference to those with a small proportion of female managers: they are more family-friendly. Often all that is needed to generate an enormous increase in loyalty and productivity are organisational changes to introduce more flexibility or make childcare available. This applies equally to both men and women. These models could be especially important when the goal is to be an “employer of choice”.