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Neither gender, previous experience, nor fear of the unknown are obstacles when you follow your dreams – this is what primary and secondary school students were told by successful women from professions that are still classified as “male”, in a series of events within DECIDE project through which this year’s Girls’ Day is celebrated.

As during the previous two years, DECIDE project supported secondary vocational schools participating in this project in organizing real encounters of female students with successful women who can be role models and inspiration in achieving personal and professional goals. Girls from six secondary vocational schools involved in the project, as well as girls of final grades of elementary schools in Kragujevac, Obrenovac, Vlasotince, Zaječar, Niš and Subotica had the opportunity to get familiar with experiences of successful women from different fields. After two years of realization of encounters only in online format, events are organized in person this year. Due to the Easter and May 1 holidays, part of the activities were realized in May. Over 100 girls took part in the activities.

Career paths, the importance of education and the need to overcome gender stereotypes in the world of work, were some of the topics that girls discussed with woman dealing with occupations such as machine and electrical engineers, hotel director, court president or who have their own business.

One of the atypical occupations for women that girls got familiar with is welder, about which they discussed with women who are on this position at company Wacker Neuson Ltd. in Kragujevac. „As someone with no previous experience, I invested a lot of willingness, effort and learning to master the welding process. I am welding trainer now. New employees are often suprised when they see that a woman teaches them a „man’s“ job, but I find that division between male and female occupations irrelevant and that there are only jobs where you see yourself or not“, concluded Marija Munić about her path from trainee to employee who trains future welders.

What it is like to work in one of the most unique and modern workspaces, in a relaxing and inspiring work environment in which the team is taken care of, girls could learn from the first hand by visiting Subotica’s digital agency Studio Present, which has been successfully operating for more than 15 years in the field of developing complex web solutions in combination with marketing and design.

In early May, several online sessions were held, through which girls from schools participating in DECIDE project met successful female employees of some of the most famous companies in the ICT sector – “Nordeus,” “Learn Upon” and “HTEC Group”.