Podcast: North Macedonia on the brink of change

New central bank governor is determined to put own stamp on institution

Anita Angelovska Bezhoska
Anita Angelovska Bezhoska , Governor of the National Bank of the Republic of North Macedonia

In May 2018, Anita Angelovska Bezhoska became a member of a rarefied group when she was appointed governor of the National Bank of the Republic of North Macedonia.

The first woman to ever hold the office, Bezhoska became only the fourth female governor in Europe, at the time of her appointment. The number has since fallen to three. But when she was offered the job, she very nearly turned it down.

“I am a mother of three children. When I got the offer, being aware of the huge responsibility of the role, I was really hesitant,” she said. “I was unsure of whether I would be able to deliver what was required and it was a challenging time for me.”

In many countries, traditional gender roles are still in place. In North Macedonia, women are expected to run the household and only recently has it become widely acceptable for them to have careers of their own.

Bezhoska’s first job was at the finance ministry, where she led a group tasked with establishing a treasury system after her country emerged from the breakup of Yugoslavia. “It really was a great opportunity for me, who had just started out,” she says.

She then moved to the International Monetary Fund, where she was part of numerous missions, before heading back to Macedonia to take up the post of chief economist. Three years later she was appointed to the role of vice-governor and a year later, governor.

“Women are underrepresented in senior positions at central banks,” she says. “I must admit it is not a pleasant feeling when you enter the room [of high level meetings], and you are the only female entering that room.”

In Europe, only three countries have women at the head of their central banks: Russia, Serbia and North Macedonia. There are a number of central banks in the region where senior management positions are up for grabs, but many of the final choices will be influenced by politics.

In North Macedonia, only 40% of women work. But at the central bank, 60% of management positions are held by women, including two of the institution’s vice-governors, who were appointed by Bezhoska.


00:00 Series recap

01:00 Building a career

06:00 Feeling alone

12:10 Setting the standard

15:20 Preparing for the euro

21:05 Help from abroad

To hear the full interview, listen in the player above, or download. Future podcasts in our CB On Air: Womenomics series will be uploaded to centalbanking.com. CB On Air is also available via iTunes or podcast apps and from Google Podcasts (Android only).

Only users who have a paid subscription or are part of a corporate subscription are able to print or copy content.

To access these options, along with all other subscription benefits, please contact info@centralbanking.com or view our subscription options here: http://subscriptions.centralbanking.com/subscribe

You are currently unable to copy this content. Please contact info@centralbanking.com to find out more.

Most read articles loading...

You need to sign in to use this feature. If you don’t have a Central Banking account, please register for a trial.

Sign in
You are currently on corporate access.

To use this feature you will need an individual account. If you have one already please sign in.

Sign in.

Alternatively you can request an individual account