ILIRIJA BIOGRAD - The wealth of the world and the business system is in diversity

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Diversity column by Croatian Diversity Charter ambassador, Ilirija CEO, Goran Ražnjević

Why and since when does your company believe and invest in diversity management? 

Tourism is based on diversity and it is an integral part of the business of individuals and companies that create our tourist offer, especially when we are looking from the guest or market perspective. Hence, Ilirija, as a tourism company operating within a business that is based on diversity from the very beginning, ie for 61 years, believes that the the company's diversity is manifested through the recruitment of employees of different age groups, education, knowledge, experience, origin, etc., each with its own personality and individuality contributed to the creation of what today Ilirija is - a modern and responsible corporation. 

What aspects of diversity management have the highest priority in your company? 

Equal job opportunities for all of our employees, both permanent and seasonal, as well as the diversity of knowledge and experience, the preservation of personal and business integrity and dignity at the workplace are the values ​​that we cherish most as a company, channeling them towards the creation of a collective motivating and stimulating business system who cares for their employees. One of the lasting goals of Ilirija is to create a working environment that encourages and assures our employees' professional development and training, while taking care of their social needs and respecting their personal and professional distinctiveness. Knowledge, experience, education and competence are the principles on which we build a long-term and sustainable development of the company, as a responsible business system with the emphasis on respecting our employees' personality and dignity, with zero tolerance to any form of discrimination. 

Which D&I activities have been implemented in your organization so far? 

Ilirija is a signatory of the Croatian Diversity Charter, and during this business year we will also develop our Diversity Policy as a written document in which we will unite our principles of diversity management. In the narrow company management, which consists of sector executives and head of corporate services, there are 12 persons with special authority, of whom 67% are women. On december 31st 2017, 49% of all employees are women. Also, there is no difference in salaries for the same job. In Ilirija, employees become the key to the company's success in positions that best suit their abilities, where their knowledge, skills, enthusiasm and loyalty contribute to further development and growth of the company. There are no differences in salaries among employees of the same position, regardless of their gender or age. These are only a few examples of our achievements in the area of ​​diversity, although strengthening further activities in areas of diversity, respect for human rights and non-discrimination is in front of Ilirija, as well as all of us. 

Many companies are not prioritizing inclusion and diversity initiatives right now. Why should they reconsider?

 Perhaps they are not prioritizing them at the moment, but if the they aim to be competitive in the market and exists and develop as a responsible part of the community, especially the companies that export their products and services, they should be aware that the issue of inclusion and diversity in today's world is not a matter of „if“, but „when“. Every responsible business system has long since recognized it, so I think that systems that are not prioritizing diversity are a minority these days. 

In your opinion, what are the specific benefits that diversity brings to your business? 

First of all, if we understand diversity as a wealth of knowledge and experience, then recognizing the individual and professional particularities of each individual becomes the foundation for a long-term business system development, in which every employee is able to achieve their full potential with full respect to their personality and individuality. The wealth of the world and society, and thus the business system, is in diversity. This is the wealth that enables us to understand and accept diversity, in todays connected, yet diverse world, as individuals, as well as business systems. Ultimately, it enables us to be a part of the global community, for no individual, state, or company is, by its nature, an isolated island or an entity that can exist itself, but is part of a wider system. In the end, even the islands tend to connect to the mainland.