Bešić, A.; Rahimić, Z.; Hirt, C. & Ortlieb, R. (2022). Gender inequality and the under-representation of women in managerial positions in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In: Klarsfeld, A.; Knappert, L.; Kornau, A.; Ng, E.S. & Ngunjiri, F.W. (Eds). Research handbook on new frontiers of equality and diversity at work. Cheltenham & Northampton, Ma.: Edward Elgar: 54-71.
With this chapter, we aim to provide more knowledge about gender inequality in transition economies and to raise awareness of the long road ahead. Using the example of BiH as a Southeastern European country moving towards a market-led economy we shed light on the challenges of women in the labour market and their barriers to securing managerial positions in light of the socio-economic and societal context. While more women are present in managerial positions compared to other OECD countries, they are mainly represented at the lower levels of management and are seldom able to contribute to decision-making processes. We use illustrative data from a survey conducted in small and medium-sized enterprises to show that patterns change slowly given that young female respondents reported high self-confidence and ambitions to take on managerial roles. The specific context of transition economies can shed light on gender equality issues that might differ from the Western context and thus offer insights into more general debates about the under-representation of women in managerial positions and the underlying reasons.