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Women in Leadership: Zdravka Demeter Bubalo - SVP HR on MOL Group’s Initiatives for an Inclusive and Gender-Diverse Workforce

5th HR Management for Energy Sector 2020

4-6 March 2020, Amsterdam, The Netherlands


The leadership in the energy sector globally has traditionally been a ‘boys club’ and the sector remains one of the least gender diverse. Closing this gender gap is crucial for the industry as women in leadership positions are key to drive organization-wide innovative and inclusive solutions. As the whole world is embracing diversity and more women in leadership positions, energy corporations are stepping up to make their leadership cadres and workforce more diverse and inclusive. Zdravka Demeter Bubalo - SVP HR, MOL Group, Hungary shares insights on women in leadership, making organizations more inclusive and attracting diverse talent.

How can we make the workforce in the Oil and Gas sector more gender-diverse & increase the number of women in leadership positions?

ZDB: We all know that there is a global shortage of managerial talent in general and I believe growth opportunities will be clearly found in our diverse populations. However, as a leader working in the Oil & Gas industry, I can confirm that hard physical conditions can discourage women from certain jobs, and women are mainly represented in supporting functions. I think women need to be encouraged and supported to take different career paths and different leadership roles.

At MOL Group, we are focusing on diversity from many aspects, and gender is high on the priority list. MOL formulated and announced its voluntary commitment to further increase the ratio of women at all organizational levels, joining as a member of the European Round Table of Industrialists (ERT), and having our Chairman-CEO personally commit to the cause. We committed to continuously increase the share of women by 2020 via equal opportunities in the recruitment process; to continue a minimum of 40% female talents hired via our fresh graduate program, and to increase the number of women in middle management positions by 2022.

In parallel, we are putting special attention on female’s career path by ensuring them the opportunities to participate in several specific programs addressing gender diversity such as WoMentoring focusing on female colleagues’ mentoring needs or Female Engineers MOL Programme targeting talented female students from STEM Universities.

According to our internal company insights, usually, women are showing lower self-esteem when considering internal job opportunities and promotions than men, and they rather wait to be picked than applying proactively. We are addressing this difference by continuously raising the attention of our managers through career management platforms, specifically focusing on female talents and their participation or promotion ratios.

What can male leaders learn from female leaders, and vice-versa?

ZDB: I think that involving and empowering management is the most important, regardless of gender. Both, female and male leaders are bringing different perspectives and approaches to the table, equally valuable. Usually, reality shows that female colleagues tend to be better in collaboration and multitasking, not necessarily interested in formal power positions, but rather into development, experiences, and impact, regardless of hierarchal level. I believe these are traits that every company should build on. On the other hand, men tend to be better in networking for example. To sum up, trust, open communication, and understanding each other’s differences are the core of a good collaboration, independently from gender.

Zdravka Demeter Bubalo will speak at the 5th HR Management for Energy Sector 2020 on the challenges of attracting diverse talent in the energy sector, and MOL Group’s initiatives to attract and retain talents with a diverse background. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with us to know more about the forum and the key topics on the discussion.