Online Event in Women Leadership Platform: "We Are Strong Together"

The way companies can progress in gender equality and inclusiveness is through questioning, discussing and transforming traditionally adopted roles of femininity as well as stereotyped masculine roles in minds. For change, men also need to act as agents of change by taking responsibility in their private lives, business life, social life and every aspect of daily life. In the inclusiveness and diversity policies of institutions in the private sector, it is seen that men are increasingly taking attention as well as women and are starting to be at the center of these policies.

This issue has been discussed in an online event held on Thursday, December 24, 2020 within the scope of Women Leadership Platform that is realized with TuskishWIN, Turkey Women Entrepreneurs Association of Turkey (KAGIDER) , European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and UPS. Top managers of companies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) operating in different sectors in the business world attended to the event "Being Side by Side in the Inclusiveness and Diversity Policies of Institutions: We Are Strong Together!" as speakers. In the event, successful managers from different sectors and NGOs participated and shared their experiences.

First, the session "Stronger Together, Best Practices in the Ecosystem and Questions & Answers" moderated by UPS Turkey Country Director of Human Resources Kerem Gök was held. PERYON General Secretary Emre Tamer and “We are With You (YANINDAYIZ)” Association Education and Project Development Specialist Ali Mert Karaköy attended the session as speakers.

Moderator, UPS Turkey Country Director of Human Resources Kerem Gök said that:

"When you consider the mission of Women Leadership Platform, we need to emphasize that Turkey still has more to accomplish on female employment. On the other hand, considering factors such as the positive effect of female employees' power in social life, increase in the education rate of girls, higher age of marriage, we can say that we have taken a positive movement. The participation of women in the workforce is 33 percent, but the OECD average is approximately 62 percent. We need to provide more support to women to increase their participation on labor force. Here, we can mention that the role of the Women Leadership Platform is extremely important in raising awareness on this issue."

Kerem Gök has emphased that there are 21 women in PERYON's 44 member of Executive Board, PERYON General Secretary Emre Tamer stated that the number of women in the Executive Board started to increase after 90s.

Kerem Gök has stated that: "Women's empowerment in PERYON and in the HR sector was simultaneous. The 50-year change in PERYON has been organic. The HR field has also gained an intellectual content and changed its structure. We see that with the increase in the schooling and education level of women, they started to take place in managerial positions. As Human Resources developed intellectually, women started to take more places in this field. In addition, as HR changed intellectually, when its relationship with employees got out of personnel payroll and this field was based on merit, women had more chances to find a place. In fact, in general, we see that as intellectual content in a business sector increases, more opportunities become available for women.''

“We are With You” Association Education and Project Development Specialist Ali Mert Karaköy has stated that they prepared Turkey's first Social Gender Equality Index by District in cooperation with Canadian Embassy and Istanbul University. He has shared best practices in projects. He has added that they prepared the index according to 27 sub-indicators in four main categories: "Political Participation and Decision Making", "Education", "Economic Life and Access to Resources" and "Health and Sports". He has mentioned that education, literacy and graduation rates are very important. When education is left out, gender equality will be lacking. He has indicated that the results from the index again show us how far we need to go in equality.

Afterwards, " Stronger Together, Good Practices from Institutions and Question & Answer" session was held. In this session Castrol Global Marketing, Pricing Project Manager Kerim Beydağı, GittiGidiyor Employee Experience Director Murat Yüksel and Microsoft Turkey Human Resources Manager Kemal Özel took place as speakers.

Bp / Castrol Global Marketing, Pricing Project Manager Kerim Beydağı has explained their efforts to eliminate gender inequality. “We became inclusive. We organized a chain of seminars by opening all lines of work to men and women. We listened to the men; we had a series of meetings where we talked about how we can contribute to the development of women and social gender equality. In 2020, we conducted collaboration with “We are With You”, and gender inequality trainings.”

The Director of GittiGidiyor Employee Experience, Murat Yüksel has said that:

“We are against all discrimination, not just religion, language, race and gender identity. We say that people with different opinions create diversity. Our doors are open to everyone. Diversity is inviting everyone to the ball while inclusion means getting everyone you invited to that ball to dance. We continue our way with this mentality."

Then Human Resources Manager of Microsoft Turkey Kemal Özel has given information about their work regarding this issue. "We try to ensure that the corporate culture we desire is experienced by our employees in real life. By externally recruiting different employees with different qualifications and competencies, we increase not only the number of female employees, but also the number of employees with different experiences. At the same time, within the scope of Diversity and Inclusiveness, we play a role in increasing the number of women who have the required knowledge and skills in the field of AI (Artificial Intelligence)."