The Croatian Women’s Network celebrated International Women’s Day with awards presented to Croatian women and women of Croatian background in the country and in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Switzerland, the United States of America and Australia.
The Toronto-based Croatian Women’s Network organised its fourth international conference on Advancing Women, Advancing Economies / Realize the Potential! / Power & Influence on the 8th of March at the Croatian Heritage Foundation headquarters in Zagreb. The event was held on the occasion of International Women’s Day. The event also included the presentation of the Croatian Women of Influence award, presented to Croatian women and women of Croatian background in the country and in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Switzerland, the United States of America and Australia.
Under the “Power and Influence of Women” motto the presenters spoke and took part in panel discussions on the position and impact of women in Croatia and around the world in the political arena, the business sector, management, science, culture and humanitarian work.
On hand to speak at the opening of the conference at the CHF were Croatian Women’s Network founder Caroline Spivak, Croatian Heritage Foundation director Mijo Marić, Marko Kovač, the diocesan vicar for pastoral affairs of the Zagreb archdiocese, a representative of Zagreb mayor Milan Bandić and the spokesperson of the State Office for Croats Abroad. The gathering was also addressed by Ana Mandac, the deputy minister at the finance, entrepreneurship and crafts ministry. The conference continued with a panel discussion on the power and influence of women in the business sector moderated by Elizabeta Planinić. Taking part in the panel discussion were recipients of the 2019 Croatian Women of Influence Award Danijela Balikić (Bosnia-Herzegovina/USA), Ankica Kovač (Croatia) and Nataša Drvenkar (Croatia). Keynote speaker and ethnically inspired fashion designer Mina Petra (Croatia) spoke of Croatia’s Straw Bags: An Entrepreneurial Success Story. The Women in Leadership—Innovating the Future panel was moderated by Ana Tomašković (Croatia) a reporter and editor with state television and radio broadcaster HRT and a recipient of the 2018 Croatian Women of Influence Award. The panellists were recipients of the 2019 Croatian Women of Influence Award Damjana Domanovac (Croatia), Biljana Lovrinović (Bosnia-Herzegovina/USA), Hedda Martina Šola (Croatia) and Sanja Drakulić (Croatia).
A keynote address on The Wisdom of Women’s Intuition was delivered by Ulla Marton (Croatia), followed by a second keynote address on Women Transcending Borders—The Potential of Global Networks delivered by Ruža Studer-Babić (Switzerland). Both speakers are recipients of the 2019 Croatian Women of Influence Award.
The conference and awards ceremony were held under the patronage of Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, the State Office for Croats Abroad, the Ministry of Finance, Entrepreneurship and Craft, the Ministry of Science and Education, the Ministry of Tourism, the Croatian World Congress, the Croatian National Tourism Board, the Tourism Board of the City of Zagreb, the City of Zagreb and the Croatian Heritage Foundation.
The conference and accompanying content was live streamed on the Facebook profile of the Croatian Heritage Foundation.
An exhibition staged at the Croatian Heritage Foundation for the awards event was the first solo showing of the work of Dijana Čović, a resident of Vukovar, a graduate of journalism studies, and an amateur painter. She learned to paint with academy educated painters Vesna Šantek and Hrvoje Majer. Speaking at the opening of the show was by director Marić, our culture department head Snježana Jurišić, art historian Saša Pavković and Ms Čović. The exhibition was opened by Caroline Spivak, founder the Croatian Women’s Network of Toronto.
By: Diana Šimurina-Šoufek; Photography: Snježana Radoš