Influential Leaders

Agnieszka Głowacka

Recognition Year(s): 2023
Area of Impact: Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging
School: Faculty of Economic Sciences and Management, Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń
Location: Poland

Agnieszka Głowacka is vice president of ERBUD Group, the largest independent construction group in Poland, and winner of Forbes magazine’s Climate Leaders Poland 2022. One of few women board leaders in the construction industry, Głowacka is responsible for the group’s financial policy. She also leads many additional initiatives stemming from the company’s ESG strategy, such as supporting women in the construction industry, launching financial aid to Ukraine, and providing assistance to children in ERBUD Foundation's care.

Knowledge and competence in finance have led Głowacka to strengthen her roles in other areas as well, including social impact, and she actively participates in ERBUD's program development by implementing nonfinancial projects. As a female representative on ERBUD’s management board, Głowacka is responsible for leading initiatives to encourage diversity in the labor market and promote equal opportunity and pay for women in the construction industry. To expand opportunities for women and girls in construction, Głowacka launched a program to educate and promote technical careers, aiming to break stereotypes and strengthen gender equality, thus empowering women and girls by igniting a passion for construction. The activities included a series of Young Forewomen workshops, attended by nearly 150 girls and their parents.

The program also included the publication, together with the ERBUD Foundation, of a children's book titled Klara Builds, aimed at encouraging girls to think about a career in the building industry. Klara Builds, which was also translated from Polish to Ukrainian and German, is the story of a girl who decides to make her dreams come true by building something no one has ever seen before. Proceeds from the book sales go to the ERBUD Foundation and will be used to help orphaned children as they enter adulthood, as well as aid in the relocation of children from an orphange near Kyiv, Ukraine, to Poland. Both of these initiatives were designed to address the personnel gap likely to affect the industry in the coming years by encouraging girls and women to work in construction.

In 2022, Głowacka coordinated immediate financial and organizational assistance to workers and subcontractors from Ukraine. Under Głowacka’s leadership, the foundation provided financial support of 1.5 million złoty (around 346,420 USD), as well as assistance in housing rental and furnishing; transportation from the affected areas; and help with official, medical, and legal matters.

Głowacka’s business education, as well as her inspirational consistency and diligence, has led her to where she is today professionally. Throughout her career, Głowacka has worked in industries commonly considered to be male-dominated. Before becoming a member of the management board of ERBUD, Głowacka worked for a window joinery company, then for a metal company. She is living proof that it is not gender that counts but competence, knowledge, and experience. An example of how loyalty to one organization can be frutiful, Głowacka will celebrate her 25th anniversary with ERBUD this year.

Głowacka believes that in order to operate in the field of societal impact and the role of a thought leader, one has to achieve goals at the level of one’s main responsibilities, in her case financial management. ERBUD’s successes in recent years testify to Głowacka’s conscientious management. In 2021, the company scored its best financial results, building the largest order book in the company's more-than 30-year history. Głowacka has also contributed to the public listing of ONDE, a leader in the wind farm and photovoltaic construction segment, and sits on the company’s supervisory board. In addition, Głowacka takes an active part in carrying out acquisitions of more ERBUD Group companies, including the purchase of the Bilfinger Rohrleitungsbau GmbH (part of the Bilfinger group, Germany) and the consolidation of GWI—a company with over 25 years of experience on the German market—with the startup MOD21.