A. Gender quotas in Croatian companies
The panel discussion at the Association's Founding Assembly turned the focus on the important question the Association wants to tackle in the future - the implementation of gender quotas in supervisory boards of Croatian companies as a model for establishing gender equality. In this regard, the Association is prompted by the recently passed German law which prescribes a minimal representation of women at 30% in supervisory boards of German companies that are listed on the stock market. The new German law was passed as Germany's, but also the other EU member states' answer to the proposed Directive on improving gender equality among non-executive board members of listed companies. The Directive established the bottom target of 40% as a goal for the quota of the under-represented gender in non-executive positions in executive, i.e. supervisory boards, and for which following deadlines have been assigned: (i) 2018 for listed public companies (companies with public law juristic persons as the majority member, all companies on which public institutions can directly or indirectly execute a dominant control based on their stockholder's position, financial participation or the constitutional regulations of those companies); and (ii) 2020 for all other listed companies. Besides discussing the positive aspects such a law would have in Croatia, the Association also announces its intention of opening and leading a broader public discussion whether Croatia needs such a law to achieve the goal of the aforementioned Directive.
During the preparations for the public discussion many relevant local and international institutions have expressed their strong support for the Association's initiative. During the preparation process for opening the public debate about the need to implement binding quotas for the representation of women in supervisory boards of Croatian companies, the Association undertook significant efforts to get relevant and accurate, correct and up-to-date data on the subject from independent sources. The Association therefore commissioned experts for collecting and processing statistical data about the representation of women in Croatian companies; and this on different criteria (company size, year and industries). The Association also compiled its own comparative analysis of the legislative framework in EU countries. In this work we were helped by numerous embassies of the EU member states with whom we discussed this subject and who provided us with translations of their parent countries' laws as well as documents describing the implementation procedures and positive effects of such laws in their countries.
B. Professional internships for female law students in Croatia
In cooperation with different student's associations at the legal faculties in Croatia, the Association is launching an initiative to strengthen student internships in local companies and law firms in Croatia.
C. Cooperation with related international institutions and associations
The Association initiated a procedure to intensively affiliate itself with related international institutions in the EU, the U.S. and the rest of the world, with the intention to cooperate and develop joint projects compatible with the Association's goals, which are directed towards affirming female lawyers and the legal profession in society. Associations similar to our newly founded Association exist and actively operate in the EU and the U.S. for some years now and have many excellent, interesting and stimulating experiences at their disposal which we intend to share with our members and instigate a mutual cooperation on interesting projects.