NAME: Alenka Bratušek
BACKGROUND: University education in management
ACTION/SECTOR: Politics sector
POSITION: Deputy of the National Assembly,
ORGANISATION: National Assembly of Republic of Slovenia
My Background and Career
In the last early elections, I was elected a deputy of the National Assembly for the second time and I work with pleasure. Otherwise, the deputies elected me as a President of the Government in February 2013 and I became the first woman in the history of independent Slovenia, which had occupied the highest position of the executive branch in the country. I was first elected to the National Assembly in Elections of 2011, and before that, I worked at the Ministry of Finance since 1999. Since 2004, I led the Directorate of Budget in the same Ministry. I began my career in a small textile company shortly after the completion of education, and then my path led me into public administration, with which I am closely linked to today.
My education: In 1994, I graduated from the Faculty of Natural Sciences and Technology in Ljubljana and in 2006, I completed the Master's in Management at the Faculty of Social Sciences in Ljubljana.
Politics is a men's game, slightly more than the economy. Consequently, women politicians face greater obstacles and pressures. In my case, they all dealt mainly with the length of my skirts, the media reported daily on patterns of my clothes, my shoes, and my knowledge of English. I was not a model, not a professor of English, but a politician. Therefore, at times I did not find it surprising that so few women are in politics. It is important that we never worry about malicious rumors and comments. My family was very supportive and I devoted all of my free time to them. Thankfully, when I became prime minister, the children were already old enough that they understood why I spent so much time at work. In addition, I really tried to spend at least a few days a week with them. Today, I am facing what it is like, if the children are not at home so much. My son is practicing soccer abroad, and my daughter is a college student, so she spends less and less time at home.
I am convinced that it would be significantly harder to perform my duties without the support of my family. It is very difficult to come to terms with the fact that the attitude towards women in politics is fundamentally different from the attitude towards our fellow men. The media have asked me countless times the question: "How can you coordinate your official responsibilities with your family?" Have you ever heard our male colleagues had to answer this question? Never or very rarely.
I believe that women have a different, a female worldview. Above all, we are more inclined and able to receive and make compromises; sometimes I miss this the most in our male colleagues. I believe it would be good to get more women role in politics, also or primarily in top positions. However, I can confidently say that my experiences in public finance, which I acquired at the Ministry of Finance, are very useful in the politics. As I said already, I think that we women have a different view of the problems and ways of solving them.
Hints & Tips
My motto is NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE.
Women must realize that we are no less capable than our male colleagues are. We are probably a lot more cautious before deciding to take an important and responsible function or position. It is not right to want privileges only because we are women, but even a bigger problem is that this is often an obstacle in our way. Everything can be carried out if only there is will and support. We must never doubt ourselves when we want to achieve something. We will also "fall" several times on our path. That is not easy, but it is important to always pick yourself up and move on stronger. It is often difficult, and seems too hard, but it is necessary to persevere and believe in yourself.
Women are the ones who will change the world – for the better!