IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, organized an event in Belgrade, Serbia mid May of 2014 with more than 70 participants, executives from leading firms that have branches in Western Balkans. Since the theme of the conference was employment of women in the Western Balkans, one of the esteemed guests was Samra Filipovic – Hadziabdic, director of Agency for Gender Equality of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Joint assessment was that the private sector should have greater role when it comes to generating more and better jobs for women in the region, but it was also emphasized that cooperation between state institutions and private sector should be stronger. Creating more and better jobs for women not only improves their economic prospects, but also helps companies become more competitive. In that respect, the private sector is the key catalyst for creating more and better jobs for women in the region.

Across the Western Balkans, women face weak workplace support systems, including often unaffordable child care, limited access to corporate networks, and inadequate accommodation for family responsibilities. This limits their potential for entering the workforce and advancing their careers.

Globally, IFC supports the participation of women in business as an important part of its mission to foster sustainable private sector growth in developing countries. IFC works with financial institutions to expand financial services to women entrepreneurs through targeted credit lines, market analyses, and capacity building.