In spite of high participation of women in both education (60 % of university graduates are women) and labour force (female employment rate in 2011 was 64,8 %) women continue to be seriously under-represented in economic decision-making positions in Slovenia what is an indicator of de facto inequality between women and men.


In 2013 women held only 20 % of the top positions in the largest quoted companies. However there are more women in decision-making positions in other institutions. In 2013 there were 40% of women in the management of the Central Bank and 37% in the Supreme Court, 33% in National parliament and 21% in National government (European Commission database on women and men in decision-making). Currently only two of twenty largest Slovenian companies listed on the stock exchange have women presidents while four have women members of the boards.


Issue of gender equality at positions of power in the economic sphere was in Slovenia marginalised for decades. Recently, following the initiatives from the European Commission, it gained more public attention. While gender quotas for electoral lists within political parties (at least 40% of each sex) were introduced in 2005, discussion on quotas in the economy only started at the beginning of the 2010s. Research on the position of women in management in Slovenia has identified some of the problems that women encounter on their way to managerial positions and in their work as managers connected mainly to reconciliation of work and family obligations and to stereotypes regarding gender roles that effect expectations from men and women in organisations (Kanjuo Mrčela 1996, 2000, Petelinkar 2005). It was established that further research should be focused on topics which have been less explored (e.g. the creation and use of social networks, the role of mentorship, recruitment methods and processes, the impact of gender quotas), those emerging from recent changes in the organisation of work and influencing gender equality (e.g. the culture of long working hours, gendered flexibility of work) and on gender sensitive analysis of management procedures and cultures in new sectors and activities such as IT (Kanjuo Mrčela et al. 2012).



Obstacles to the gender equality in economic sphere in Slovenia are related to the past and present social and economic processes.

The legacy of the former system in which official ideology, social policies and legislation supported a two-earner model of employment for couples is reflected in the values and actions of the majority of women and men in Slovenia: they accept the active involvement of women in the sphere of paid work as a legitimate female role and the basis for women’s economic independence. However, access to the most powerful economic (and political) positions remained dominated by men. That has not significantly changed in the post-socialist period while intensification of work and instability of business environment posed new problems to women who are seen as prime care-takers.