I don’t feel that success in educational positions are a matter of being female or male
I believe that traditionally, after most women married and had families, their primary role was to raise their children. As a result, many would miss crucial years and opportunities to develop their careers, considers Milena Prodanić Tišma, owner of “Vedri obzori” British School. For “Women in Business” she reveals her path to success, but also announces the plans and successes of the business she lead.
- “Woman in business” is it still “exotic” or has it become our everyday life?
I don’t feel that women in business is considered to be exotic anymore, especially in the educational sector. I see many women in leading positions as the heads of schools. Many ministers of education are female, and there are many women in the educational-governing sector. However, overall, I don’t feel that success in educational positions are a matter of being female or male.
- Is the business world a man’s world? What are your experiences on the road to success?
I do believe that in some areas of business, equality is still challenging. However, in the educational sector, women are increasingly appreciated and successful in leading positions. In my career, I have never felt that I have been at a disadvantage because I am a woman, and I have never felt that I am seen differently because I am a woman in a leading position.
- There are still fewer women in leading positions compared to male colleagues, somewhere around 5%. What do you think is the reason for that and how can that figure be changed in favor of women?
I believe that traditionally, after most women married and had families, their primary role was to raise their children. As a result, many would miss crucial years and opportunities to develop their careers. With improved services of child care provisions, and especially if they have support from their families, many women can now work on their careers while at the same time take care of their children. From my personal experience, it has been important for me to have a chance to grow professionally while being present in my children’s lives and to give them the stability they need, especially during their crucial years. Having a support system and increased opportunities for women will help them to become leading members in the workforce while still being able to provide care for their children.
- You have succeeded in something that not only men but also groups of individuals cannot succeed in, you have opened a very successful school. What can you tell us about the program, the plan of the school?
Our school has a holistic approach to educating children. We believe that well-being is one of the main pillars in children’s education. Through everyday activities, along with subject goals, we also have personal- and international-minded goals which give children the opportunity to gain skills as active citizens in the 21st century. I am so proud that Look Up Register, who has 5000 schools registered in their system internationally, recognized our school as the Best Private School in Europe for the 2022/2023 school year after already awarding us for Best Humanities School in the previous school year. Going through the application process with the register gave us an opportunity to review and assess everything that we currently offer through our curriculum content. Through this process, we have also been able to consider ways that we can evolve and include more innovative approaches for next school year.
- What would you single out as a special feature of Vedri obzori school? What is it that sets it apart from other, similar schools?
I always talk about Bright Horizons with great passion and dedication because the school that I am running is created from my vision and mission from the very beginning. For this reason, I avoid talking about or comparing our school to other schools. Our focus is on providing prospective families with information and transparency regarding the education that we offer. It is then the parents/carers who decide if we are the right choice for them. I have found this job a privilege to have the opportunity to work with children who become young adults under our care. I see our role with a great responsibility to work with families and to help children to become inspired adults who have a strong sense for justice, self-reliance and the ability to adapt to an ever-changing world.
- What plans does the school, and You, have for the rest of this year?
This is the time of the school year when we are concentrating on supporting our Year 8 students who will be continuing their education elsewhere. This is also the time when parents/carers decide about enrollments for the upcoming school year. We are always working on giving enough information to families so that they can decide if we are the right option for their children. As we continue to teach and support this year’s pupils, we are also preparing for the Bright Horizons Summer School which takes place on our premises through July and August and provides an opportunity for children to experience our way of education through integrated fun and learning experiences. This year, we are also excited to introduce our Bright Horizons Summer Camp in beautiful and historic coastal town of Šibenik.