Q&A: The exceptional women of EXIT

Using their know-how, capabilities and strength, women are the moving force of EXIT. They make 61% of all employees and are members of all departments and carry a variety of titles. Since they give interviews too rarely, we chose International Women’s Day to present to you some of our strongest, the most exceptional women of EXIT.

8. March 2021. — Author: EXIT

Aleksandra Gavrilović

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Dear colleague, please, introduce yourself!
Hi, I’m Aleksandra and everyone knows I go by the nickname Cala. I’ll be 35 years old by the end of 2021 and I am a graduated journalist.

How long have you been working at EXIT, in which department and on what kind of jobs?
This month I’ll be celebrating four years at EXIT. Ever since I’ve started working here I am working as a Web Editor of all of our festivals’ websites, as well as websites of all our side social and music projects. Also, I’m available to translate anything you need to English, correct your grammar and have an (argued) opinion on almost anything.

Are there still differences in treating men and women in the music industry?
There are certainly differences in every workplace as well as in everyday life occurrences. However, we should be empowered by the discussions we are having daily more and more – even me answering this type of question is a tribute to that. As long as each of us knows her rights and isn’t afraid to speak up when her rights are being violated, we are paving a better way for all future generations.

If you could be one EXIT performer – who would you be and why?
Since I am happy to see more female performers on our lineup every year, I’ll choose Lily Allen who performed at EXIT in 2009. The slot started during the daylight, so we experienced it all – the sunset, her worldwide known hits and chanting to “Not Fair”, a song talking about another one of our rights – a right to female pleasure. And what a pleasure it was!

Aleksandra Sanja Jovanović

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Dear colleague, please, introduce yourself!
My name is Aleksandra Sanja Jovanović. I am 57 years old. I have been with EXIT from the very beginning; in 2000, I named our great festival, so I am known by many as the godmother of EXIT. For over twenty-five years, I successfully ran a family company called “Hammer Production,” which was engaged in audio/video production and was one of Serbia’s leading advertising agencies.

How long have you been working at EXIT, in which department and on what kind of jobs?
Dušan invited me to EXIT after my husband’s death, and I have been here since 2015. Currently, I am the director of “EXIT Festival Brands” and the manager of the FORT Foundation, which operates within the EXIT Foundation. As our industry and organization are both very dynamic, you can find me doing other jobs when necessary. 🙂

Is women’s contribution appreciated enough?
Whether the contribution of women is valued in any aspect of life and work, the music industry included, is almost a philosophical question for me. I believe that the contribution of each individual should be equally valued. Thus, the division between genders becomes unnecessary, and so do any other divisions for that matter.

Your unforgettable EXIT or another EXIT Family festival?
An unforgettable EXIT for me is EXIT #0, which was held in the year 2000. At the time, we all had the feeling that we were starting something fantastic and powerful. We were right.

Aleksandra Stošić

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Dear colleague, please, introduce yourself!
Hi, I’m Aleksandra Stošić.

How long have you been working at EXIT, in which department and on what kind of jobs?
I’ve been at EXIT since 2006, working as a Protocol Coordinator.

Which competencies and know-hows are necessary for your job?
Organizational skills, leadership, communicational skills, problem solving, quick decision making, proactivity, flexibility, mobility. Also, developing interpersonal relations and teamwork are key.

If you could be one EXIT performer – who would you be and why?
I wouldn’t necessarily want to identify myself with some of the performers, but if I had pick to one, it should be Nick Cave. Because of his persistence, quality, professionalism and energy.

Alisa Rastovac

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Dear colleague, please, introduce yourself!
Hi! I’m Alisa Rastovac, I’m 29 and I live and work in Novi Sad.

How long have you been working at EXIT, in which department and on what kind of jobs?
I started working part-time at EXIT in 2011 as a member of the promo team, while I was still in college. Soon after that I became a Promo Team Coordinator, then a Host at my all-time favorite No Sleep Novi Sad Stage (then known as Happynovisad Stage), a Hospitality Manager and a Booking Assistant. Since 2017 I am officially a Communications and Booking Assistant, soon followed by manager titles at the same positions.

Women in EXIT make more than 60% of employees. Did you know that and how is this manifested in the organization?
I wasn’t always aware of this number, but I know where women stand in general in the music industry. Once I got these questions I looked around and came to see how many women are there at EXIT, especially in jobs which carry more responsibility. And there is something wonderful in the fact that this comes natural to us in our organization. That doesn’t mean I am less woke about other parts of our industry, I am only more determined to continue on this path with my team in order to set an example for others.

If you could be only one EXIT performer – who would you be and why?
This is another example of highlighting differences. I actually consider myself as an EXIT star. Stars are dominant on stage, as well as behind it. I am pointing this out because we are usually in the shadows while passing various “levels” of this “game” for months and months, so all the stars can shine under the stage lights. For a festival, as well as any other event, you need a wholesome team dancing together, made of women, as well as men, on stage and in the back as well.

Aneta Goranović

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Dear colleague, please, introduce yourself!
I’m Aneta, nice to meet you!

How long have you been working at EXIT, in which department and on what kind of jobs?
I became part of EXIT in February last year when I was hired as a Creative Producer. That task became extended to the role of Project Manager of the Life Stream festival last summer. I currently work as a Marketing Director at Danas, and I am most often involved in EXIT’s projects as a Creative Producer.

What are the biggest challenges and obstacles in your job?
The greatest challenge and the greatest inspiration in every producer’s life are people, at the midnight of all their majesty and madness.

How hard is it for women to juggle the work dynamic and their private life?
If a man takes care of his child, takes it to the doctor, cleans the house, buys groceries, takes care of his parents, or renounces his share of inheritance of a real-estate property, we consider it a phenomenon. As long as that is the case, women will find it difficult to reconcile their obligations with the expectations placed upon them. They need solidarity and a society that nourishes them and helps them grow.

Bojana Lalić

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Dear colleague, please, introduce yourself!
I am Bojana (38) and I am a Master of Business Administration. Before coming to EXIT I worked in two multinational companies for 11 years. My biggest accomplishments are my son and my daughter, who are my teachers, motivation and joy in everyday life.

How long have you been working at EXIT, in which department and on what kind of jobs?
I came to EXIT in 2015 as a Fundraising Manager. Two years later I became a Chief of Staff, while continuing to coordinate commercial sponsorships (fundraising). Because of an urge to care for people and wish to make everyone’s experience in the organization better, we established a Well-Being & Mental Health department. It’s led by me and two of my wonderful colleagues who are psychologists. Also, my love for spirituality enabled us to present Pachamama Stage to EXIT audiences in 2017, whose lineup I prepare with another colleague of mine every year.

What are the biggest challenges and obstacles in your job?
Challenges and obstacles are never the same, they are always different which can be very stressful but also useful since it broadens your horizons. Why am I saying this? Because creative industries are not a fine line which works like a robot, but a living and breathing organism changing its shape, depending on many factors. For you to come to a final product, a festival in our case, you have to be very flexible and quick in finding a solution.

How hard is it for women to succeed in the music industry?
If we look at the bigger picture, it was never easy for women to show their full protentional at any job. When you listen to the experiences of successful women, none of them can say how easy it was for them to get to their positions thanks to their knowledge and commitment, but rather how they had to prove themselves in the male-dominated ring called business. Is it tough in the music industry? Yes! Can you make it? Yes! Is it worth everything you have to go through? Absolutely, because once you learn how to work in the music industry, there is no college, school or course to prepare you for what’s coming. There comes a moment when you realize you can do anything, solve anything and that you changed so much during that process that only sky is the limit!

Diana Salak and Dunja Gladić

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Dear colleagues, please, introduce yourselves!
Hi, I’m Diana.
Hi, I’m Dunja.

How long have you been working at EXIT, in which department and on what kind of jobs?
Diana: Dunja & I have been here for three years and we are both working in the Tourism department.

Which competencies and know-hows are necessary for your job?
Diana: I think the organizational skills come first, as well as communication, flexibility in shifting occurrences, as well as adjusting to changes.

Your unforgettable EXIT or another EXIT Family festival?
Dunja: I went to EXIT 14 times and honestly – each one was better than the previous. However, I would point out Rudimental in 2014 as the most energetic performance.

Dragana Matović

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Dear colleague, please, introduce yourself!
I am Dragana, HR Manager and an on-duty culprit 🙂

How long have you been working at EXIT, in which department and on what kind of jobs?
I came to EXIT only a couple of days before the emergency state caused by the pandemic. Since then, my job is to take care of interest of the organization and the employees in the time of a global crisis which hit our industry the hardest, an industry I just started working in.

How hard is it for women to succeed in the music industry?
Oh 🙂 In general, it is harder for women to succeed in any job, besides the ones reserved for women (medicine, education etc.). There is a TikTok trend showing how women need to communicate at work in a male manner. The trend is not a coincidence, since women who are determined, confident and ambitious are usually targeted as aggressive and inadequate. Women are expected to have a more mellow approach, while men can be tough. In the music industry, however, the atmosphere is looser, so women can “smuggle” their “inadequate” characters.

Is women’s contribution appreciated enough?
No 🙂 We are making progress by appreciating women’s contribution, but respecting it is a whole another issue. Once the women around me are admitted to be adequate and good enough, other than simply accepted, I will change my answer to “yes”.

Jelena Galetin-Žakić

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Dear colleague, please, introduce yourself!
Hi, I’m Jelena Galetin-Žakić

How long have you been working at EXIT, in which department and on what kind of jobs?
From 2012 to a few years ago, I worked in the PR sector. I was in charge of public relations, taking statements from performers at the festival, writing press releases, making statements as the PR of the festival, training new PR team members, editing written content, coordinating with media, etc. As of a few years ago, I am in charge of hosting and communicating with public figures.

Are there differences in what is expected from men and women in the music industry?
In my opinion, there are differences. I won’t name any specific organizations, but often external associates or partners address men with greater attention; in meetings, they sometimes don’t even look at the women in the room, regardless of their “title” within the company. Men continue to take women’s ideas lightly and present them as their own in the end, which is devastating. In the PR world specifically, women are often treated as no more than PR faces, reading pre-prepared statements, only there to “look pretty.” I would particularly emphasize the poor treatment of mothers and are sometimes, due to circumstances, forced to work from home. Their contribution is not valued at the same level as others’ because no one supervises them, and they aren’t considered equally effective. I think that progress requires more effort and more unity between women.

What does the music industry do to close the gender gap?
I get the impression that women are becoming more numerous in various organizations. Regarding what could be improved, I would say that women should be promoted more often if they deserve it. For example, EXIT is at the forefront in this regard.

Jelena Jung

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Dear colleague, please, introduce yourself! How long have you been working at EXIT, in which department and on what kind of jobs?
My name is Jelena Jung, I have been at EXIT since 2003 as part of the hosting team. I run the organization of one of the four largest stages at the festival. Now it is 2021, I have grown a little, and so has my capacity for giving 🙂 My love of festivals and EXIT values has not waned in all these years, on the contrary! I am a psychologist by profession, I do psychotherapy, in EXIT, I am part of the Mental Health team, alongside my colleague Tatjana Jovanović. I want to take this opportunity to mention a significant detail, which is that EXIT is the first organization in the entire event industry to have mental health professionals employed full-time. We still have a lot of work to do, but important steps have been taken.

What are the biggest challenges and obstacles in your job?
Probably finding a balance. A balance between my private life and my work. A balance between people. A balance when it comes to help and support. A balance between seriousness and indulgence. Aside from this, it is still sometimes a challenge to keep a cool head and keep both feet on the ground. And to breathe, to be in the “here and now.” To look after people, and look after yourself.

How hard is it for women to succeed in the music industry?
Somehow it seems that women are most easily recognized in our industry for their knowledge, skills, and abilities. People in this business have a lot of psychological flexibility, open-mindedness, and non-judgment. There’s room for all those who can. In my experience, I have never felt that someone treated me with disrespect just because I am a woman. There may have been some suspicion of that while out in the field in the dust at first, but it certainly didn’t last longer than 10 minutes 🙂

How did women contribute to the music industry survival during the pandemic?
I will mention only this, although there are many things to say — the first and most valuable book on the importance of mental health in the music industry, “Stay SOUND & CHECK Yourself,” was published worldwide during the pandemic, and many women made a significant contribution to this topic from personal experience. (I’ll take this opportunity to once again say “thank you” to Katja & Holger).

Ljubica Lukač

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Dear colleague, please, introduce yourself!
My name is Ljubica Lukač.

How long have you been working at EXIT, in which department and on what kind of jobs?
May this year will mark exactly 12 years since I started working in the EXIT team. Before that, I worked in the NGO sector as part of the EXIT Festival for a couple of years. With over 15 years of experience in trading, finance, and business administration, I am in charge of managing the finances of EXIT and all its festivals (Sea Dance Festival, Sea Star festival) as well as other projects implemented by the team during the year, including EU projects and local projects. I acquired my education in computer science, mathematics, project management, web administration, and business administration at the Faculty of Natural Sciences and Mathematics in Novi Sad and the Faculty of Management.

How hard is it for women to succeed in the music industry?
It seems to be less difficult than in some other industries. When I became part of the EXIT team, there was only one EXIT Festival in Novi Sad. Less than ten years later, we have five festivals in five countries. It has been an incredible success for the whole organisation as a team and every individual in the organisation, including both women and men. In the EXIT team, there are indeed always plenty of opportunities for personal advancement and education, regardless of one’s gender.

How hard is it for women to juggle the work dynamic and their private life?
Incredibly difficult, regardless of the work they do, that is, the area of business in which they work, but it is not impossible. I am a mother of two very young children, aged three and one. All the obstacles that used to be challenging now cause additional stress. It’s incredibly dynamic, and I wouldn’t be able to get myself organised well enough if it weren’t for the great team I work with, on whom I can rely at all times.

Maja Starčević

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Dear colleague, please, introduce yourself!
My name is Maja Starčević and I work in the Booking department.

How long have you been working at EXIT, in which department and on what kind of jobs?
The first EXIT I worked at was in 2007 in the Program Production, followed by working part-time in different festival departments in the coming years. After that, I am full-time employed in the Program department.

What does the music industry do to close the gender gap?
A number of organizations such as Key Change, SheSaidSo, We Run This, Girls to the Front, Womxn to CTRL, Women in Music and many others are involved in educational processes and empowering women and LGBTQIA population in order for them to find their place in the industry and evolve. A number of festivals managed to form a gender balanced lineup over the years, agents are building their gender balanced rosters and we are also seeing an increased number of acts willing to perform only at those festivals which have gender balanced lineups.

Women in EXIT make more than 60% of employees. Did you know that and how is this manifested in the organization?
This is something I like to point out myself and am proud of the surrounding we are building a future in. The whole battle for closing the gender gap is not about the percentage of women working in the music industry, but more so about the number of them in high places, making a change, and minimizing the pay disparity between men and women. I am proud to say that EXIT is a leader in this aspect.

Marija Vekić

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Dear colleague, please, introduce yourself!
I am Marija Vekić and was in love with EXIT since I was 15 and a first-time festival-goer!

How long have you been working at EXIT, in which department and on what kind of jobs?
I’ve been working at EXIT for three years as a part of Marketing Team with my dear colleagues Snajka and Igx.

Which competencies and know-hows are necessary for your job?
My job requires precision, speed, logical thinking in targeting and budget assessments, as well as the creative part in coming up with solutions causing emotions in people.

How hard is it for women to succeed in the music industry?
I’m a part of an amazing team, so I never felt an obstacle in that sense.

Marijana Petrić

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Dear colleague, please, introduce yourself!
Hi, I’m Maja, I’m 27 years old, and I’m in love with festivals and everything about them.

How long have you been working at EXIT, in which department and on what kind of jobs?
My so-called “official” story with EXIT began in 2011 when I first volunteered at the festival. In the following years, I was an EXIT Ambassador, and in 2017 I officially started working in the marketing sector, first as an Assistant Regional Marketing Manager, and since last year, an Assistant International Marketing Director. My “unofficial” EXIT story, however, began in 2002, when, as a child fascinated by all this new energy happening at the Fortress, I wrote in my diary that “I can’t wait to grow up to go there,” not even dreaming that I would become not only part of the magic that happens at the Fortress but also part of the team that makes the magic happen.

Which competencies and know-hows are necessary for your job?
I would put teamwork first, and I can’t stress that enough. Given the interconnectedness of the marketing sector with almost all sectors in the organization, you must be willing to work in a team. I would also point out the ability to speak other languages, considering that we work with teams from all over the world, as well as good organizational skills, creativity, adaptability, and good communication skills.

Your unforgettable EXIT or another EXIT Family festival?
Each festival is a memorable experience because there’s a new dose of excitement and emotion each year, so it’s tough to single one out. If I could rephrase the question as “Your life-changing EXIT or EXIT’s festival,” I would say Sea Star 2019, which launched a new chapter in my life.

Martina Anđelković

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Dear colleague, please, introduce yourself!
I am Martina Anđelković and you can call me Snajka.

How long have you been working at EXIT, in which department and on what kind of jobs?
I work in processes regarding strategic marketing and social media, coordinate promotions through micro and macro influencers and their communication channels and take part in digital team’s creative processes.

Your unforgettable EXIT or another EXIT Family festival?
My most unforgettable EXIT is also my first EXIT ever. My sister Tatjana was fascinated with the festival and talked to me about her experience at the Fortress which she described as “never-before-seen and unbelievable for Serbia”. We are talking about 2004, when I was I 18 and found myself at then very small Dance Arena – the stage was eight times smaller than the today’s stage, there was 30 times less lighting and effects and there were no LED screens whatsoever. I got the opportunity to see my childhood heroes Cypress Hill and the mighty Massive Attack. Timo Maas blew us away at the Arena and that was the moment when I decided to go to festivals forever. I was mesmerized by warm-up parties, the beach afterparties, as well as the people. We came to Novi Sad by train from Niš so we could experience the whole EXIT trip and there are no words to describe the euphoria which kept me going for many coming months after EXIT.

If you could be only one EXIT performer – who would you be and why?
I would be Fatboy Slim, forever! Writing messages of love and support on LPs, dancing and dancing on stage while receiving great energy from the audience.

Milica Grahovac

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Dear colleague, please, introduce yourself!
My name is Milica Grahovac and I am 29 years old, born in Novi Sad. I love animals and have no social media, except for LinkedIn.

How long have you been working at EXIT, in which department and on what kind of jobs?
I started working at EXIT in 2016, as a student in Masters Tourism studies, making my first steps in the Hospitality department. I work in the same department as an Assistant, Flight Booking Agent, as well as an EXIT Shop Merchandiser.

Which competencies and know-hows are necessary for your job?
You have to be fluent in foreign languages, since you very much have to communicate with foreign partners and associates. You should be precise and devoted, since we are very detail-oriented. You have to be creative, talkative, organized and sharp.

If you could be only one EXIT performer – who would you be and why?
Most definitely Grace Jones – I wish we could all have her energy in the late years of our lives 🙂 She stood out for me for being a true diva. She had fun on stage and gave the audience a spectacle.

Miljana Milekić

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Dear colleague, please, introduce yourself!
My name is Miljana, I am a graduated journalist and am forever in love with music and communications.

How long have you been working at EXIT, in which department and on what kind of jobs?
I am at EXIT since October 2019, even though I previously worked as an Explosive Stage interview coordinator in July. Given the fact that I went to EXIT for many years before, I’ve felt like a part of the team for ten years 🙂 I work in the PR department, specifically in Public Relations. I was an assistant at first and now I am a Junior PR manager. In short, my job is to promote the festival while communicating with media.

Which competencies and know-hows are necessary for your job?
I would say it’s crucial to adapt yourself and learn, since this is not a static job where you get work done and go home. Next to that, you need to have social skills, be friendly, communicative, ready to work under pressure because of the industry’s nature, and also be responsible. This job likes people coming from social sciences who can work in a dynamic place with a lot of new people.

What are the biggest challenges and obstacles in your job?
The biggest challenge is definitely being ready to work almost non-stop, and accepting not always having the time to do everything that is required. Thigs are changing rapidly, especially in the pandemic times. If you are ready to get out of your comfort zone, you can easily handle the challenges and overcome the obstacles.

If you could be only one EXIT performer – who would you be and why?
Maybe Migos – since I can be late sometimes 🙂

Nikki McNeill

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Dear colleague, please introduce yourself!
Hi, I’m Nikki.

How long have you been working at EXIT, in which department and on what kind of jobs?
I’ve been working at EXIT since 2004, working on the international PR of the festival.

Which competencies and know-hows are necessary for your job?
I have to have extensive knowledge of the media landscape in countries all over Europe and also have relationships with many journalists and media to get the best results of the festival. I also have to be good with people as we bring many journalists to the festival and I’m kind of like a ‘tour mother’, there to show them around the event and make sure they have a good time.

What are the biggest challenges and obstacles in your job?
Time! Working in PR is very labor intensive as there is a lot of following up with people and meetings to make things happen.

Are there differences in what is expected from men and women in the music industry?
When I first started there were definitely jobs that seemed to be more for women such as being a PA or working in the press department, while men where in A&R or festival bookers. I think things have changed now though and companies are more diverse with more women doing all kinds of jobs in the industry and many women also starting their own businesses.

Nina Plećaš

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Dear colleague, please introduce yourself!
Hi, I’m Nina and my colleagues know me as Ninsta!

How long have you been working at EXIT, in which department and on what kind of jobs?
I took true baby steps to being employed at EXIT – I was an EXIT Ambassador first, followed by joining the Web Team. So, officially, I have been a part of EXIT for four years, even though I am a part of EXIT Family for a little longer. My EXIT nickname says a lot – I am primarily in charge of administering Instagram pages of all our festivals. However, as it usually is in the social media universe, I am a true “slasher” – using slashes while describing my job and listing all the work I’m doing. Working in the creative and support departments, analyzing markets and statistics, taking photos for promotional purposes. So, everything that is digital and then some!

Which competencies and know-hows are necessary for your job?
The tasks are various, so the skills are too. I would point out creativity, communication skills, patience, working under pressure, being practical and precise.

What does the music industry do to close the gender gap?
To fully close the gap, it’s of great importance to use the strong potential of social media and other digital communication channels to raise awareness, especially among young people and women themselves as well, because – when women support other women, unimaginable things happen!

Your unforgettable EXIT or another EXIT Family festival?
No thinking about it, No Sleep Festival 2019. It was totally unexpected that I made happen an Onstage Experience for one of our fans during Bicep performance, who got his LP signed and a photo with the DJ duo. Seeing the fan’s happiness and knowing that I managed to provide it for him cannot measure to my own experiences meeting the performers over the years.

If you could be only one EXIT performer – who would you be and why?
I wouldn’t be a performer. I am more in love with the event industry dynamic and the feeling of standing firmly in our team and being a part of such huge events that we’re creating. Being a part of our industry and festival chain, while enriching lives of many is an exciting and unique feeling.

Sanja Šamatić

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Dear colleague, please, introduce yourself!
My name is Sanja Šamatić, and I have 50 years of life experience. I have an immense capacity for happiness, thanks to two wonderful daughters, the other great people in my life, and the opportunity to do a job I love.

How long have you been working at EXIT, in which department and on what kind of jobs?
I have been in the EXIT organisation for less than two years. I currently hold the position of Executive Marketing Manager.

Which competencies and know-hows are necessary for your job?
My job always requires good organisational skills, time management, creativity and the like. However, for me, there is nothing more inspiring than the process of giving birth to an idea, creating the product we want to market and the ultimate satisfaction of seeing people enjoy the product itself. For people to love your ideas, products, and vision, you must be unreservedly convinced of them and believe that what you’re doing is really great. This is what I consider a complete marketing cycle.

Is women’s contribution appreciated enough?
At EXIT, exceptionally. For me, this is an excellent example of good practice. During my 25 years of work experience, I have worked in many organisations and seen various situations. Unfortunately, there are still work environments where the women’s contribution is quite devalued, and the various unions don’t seem to be able to ensure fundamental rights for all employees, let alone equality in men’s and women’s contributions. Luckily for me, I’m not there anymore; I’m here.😊

Saška Santovac

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Dear colleague, please, introduce yourself!
My name is Saška Santovac, I am from Kikinda but I’ve been living and working in Novi Sad for years. I am 30 years old, I work at Gigs Tix and we surely ran into each other at a party or a festival. In my free time I like to talk to my dog, I take my coffee with cold milk and I assure people that Iron Man is the best Marvel character.

How long have you been working at EXIT, in which department and on what kind of jobs?
Agh, that one’s a little tough for me 🙂 I’ve been working from 2009, when I started as a volunteer in the ticketing department, where I work to this day. I was lucky enough to work as a volunteer coordinator at the festival so I got to see how the majority of the event works. At the festivals I am currently in charge of ticket exchange points – those spots where you exchange your ticket for a festival wristband.

Which competencies and know-hows are necessary for your job?
My job is focused on working with people, so I would point out communication skills, team work, buy maybe most importantly responsibility, working under pressure and readiness to quick decision making.

What does the music industry do to close the gender gap?
I can honestly say that there are more and more women who deserved leading positions thanks to their knowledge, work and results and I’m very happy for it. The music industry has a wide range of jobs where women can find themselves so the earned opportunity is slightly closing the gender gap and the results are proving it is totally unnecessary.

If you could be only one EXIT performer – who would you be and why?
Finally, an easy question – Sian Evans from Kosheen! I think anyone who follows her work from the 2000’s here on can understand my choice. A woman who managed to stand out as a lead at the beginning of her career, with an amazing voice, an energy still gracing her in her fifties, who is loyal to her genre to this day is someone who deserves to be my choice.

Slađana Santo

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Dear colleague, please, introduce yourself!
My name is Slađana Santo and I work in the corporate partnerships department.

How long have you been working at EXIT, in which department and on what kind of jobs?
I have been at EXIT for three and a half years, currently in the position of Head of the fundraising sector.

Which competencies and know-hows are necessary for your job?
Sales and project management skills, developed social intelligence, teamwork, crisis management, resourcefulness, being up to date and ready to learn new things…

How hard is it for women to succeed in the music industry?
In general, in all industries in Serbia, it is harder for women to succeed because we have ingrained opinions about the dominance of men. I would say that the situation in our industry is a little better and that it is somewhat easier for women to express themselves and get to the responsible positions that they deserve.

Tanja Nježić

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Dear colleague, please, introduce yourself!
Hi, my name is Tanja Nježić. I have many roles in life as other beings on this planet, but my favorite is to discover the joys of life every day!

How long have you been working at EXIT, in which department and on what kind of jobs?
I came to EXIT in 2014 in the Foundation part where I am still to this day. For the first few years, my job at EXIT was a side one, but then I am permanently employed since spring 2017. In EXIT Foundation I found my niche to be what I want to be and to make our world a better place together with the rest of the EXIT team.

Which competencies and know-hows are necessary for your job?
Through my thorough education and previous work experience I gained a winning combination needed for the job I am doing in the Foundation. Through responsibility, resilience and persistency in daily activities, the most important are communication and organizational skills, analyzing and creative thinking, as well as many others.

If you could be only one EXIT performer – who would you be and why?
I would be Grace Jones, no further explanations needed 🙂

Zorica Matković

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Dear colleague, please, introduce yourself! How long have you been working at EXIT, in which department and on what kind of jobs?
I’ve been at EXIT from the very start, 2001. There were interruptions during some years but I am still in the organization to this day. From the beginning I work in the hospitality department taking care of accommodation, transport, food and all other hospitality details in terms of acts and festival guests. At first, I worked as a host, and I’ve been a hospitality manager from 2011.

Which competencies and know-hows are necessary for your job?
This job requires good communication, team work, multitasking, working under pressure in short term, flexibility, quick decision making, problem solving and staying calm. You also need to be fluent in foreign languages, especially English. Collage is not crucial, since the job is so specific and distinguished – you get most of your knowledge through practice.

Are there differences in expectations from men and women in the music industry?
The job requires all of you, for the better part of the year, regardless of your gender. You have to travel a lot and work with no time limits. Therefore, there can be limitations for women when it comes to juggling work with family and children, as they can hardly be as committed as men and equally successful in both fields simultaneously. This is where I see most of the differences.

How did women contribute to the music industry survival during the pandemic?
By holding online workshops, writing and talking online about the situation we were all in and reaching out to more people about the effects the pandemic had on our industry, as well as the possible outcomes.

If you could be only one EXIT performer – who would you be and why?
Amongst a number of acts I saw during all these years, it’s not easy to choose, but the last one who charmed me was Grace Jones. So, if I had to choose, I would be a diva! 🙂

Željana Okanović

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Dear colleague, please, introduce yourself!
Hi, I’m Željana.

For how long are you working at EXIT, in what department?
I’ve been at EXIT since 2012. At first, I worked in organizing the festival, and from 2018 I work at EXIT Foundation at the digital marketing department.

Which competencies and know-hows are necessary for your job?
Flexibility, being ready to learn new trends in the digital world and tolerant to everyday challenges.

How did women contribute to the music industry survival during the pandemic?
The same as men, through their patience and hope that this will all blow over soon, with an online presence where it was possible in the given conditions.

How hard is it for women to juggle the work dynamic and their private life?
One of the main reasons for my transfer from the festival organization to EXIT Foundation is the possibility to coordinate my job and my private life. So, it’s possible!

Women in EXIT make more than 60% of employees. Did you know that and how is this manifested in the organization?
I haven’t paid attention and it’s nice to know we’re more than equal in that sense. However, EXIT never minded about anyone’s gender as long as you’re a professional and a team player.

If you could be only one EXIT performer – who would you be and why?
That’s easy, LP. Authentic act with a powerful voice. She mesmerizes with her talent and charisma. Unforgettable!