Employing more than 60 thousand people of 73 different nationalities globally, Yıldız Holding and subsidiaries operate in a vast geography and within a very rich cultural mosaic. Thanks to policies supporting equal opportunity and diversity at workplace, the share of women in the workforce reach 40 percent throughout the Holding and the ratio of women in management increase every single year. Believing that women create a difference in the business world with their emphatic capabilities, holistic perspectives and strong intuition, Yıldız Holding attaches importance to inclusion of women in the workforce and high-level representation in management both in Turkey and abroad. Women are represented in the boards and management teams of all Holding subsidiaries. In addition, perspectives of female managers and employees contribute greatly to better understanding consumer expectations.
Aslı Özen Turhan - Ülker Turkey CMO
"We reach a meaningful whole when women and men work in synergy"
Having joined Ülker 16 years ago as an Assistant Brand Manager, I now continue my career as the CMO. Throughout these years, I have attended many mentoring programs within and outside the company. Being the mentee of Murat Ülker at a very young age has been an unforgettable experience for me. And this year I am a part of the mentoring program of the Women on Board Association. Such mentoring programs are great opportunities to benefit from the experience of successful businesspeople, understand their perspectives and visions, and get inspirations for your own career path.
Women are capable of seeing things from various perspectives, thus making effective decisions. I believe that different cognitive capabilities, innovative ideas, versatile thinking processes, effective decisions, and inclusive talents contribute significantly to board decisions that impact medium- and long-term success of the company.
Since women already assume many roles in their private lives (with many responsibilities at home and as spouses, mothers and daughters), they work more efficiently. They are experts in multi-layered thinking and finding practical solutions. Research indicates that female leaders especially keep calm in times of crises and take reliable decisions.
Women and men complement each other in every aspect of life. We reach a meaningful whole when they work in synergy. When these complementary powers have equal impact on decisions, businesses will take a lot more inclusive and well-balance steps and will generate better outcomes as well as greater value for the society.
At Ülker, we also attach great importance to “Reverse Mentoring”. I have many young colleagues in the marketing team. They are very clear in their feedback and they express themselves perfectly. Honestly, much of the feedback that encourages me to think deeper and change comes from young employees. In addition, I am very happy to see that making the world a better place is a priority for them.
Begüm Mutuş – Yıldız Holding Sustainability General Manager
"Diversity in the business world creates an efficient working environment"
I have joined the program earlier this year and had the opportunity to meet valuable leaders of the Turkish business world and to develop new perspectives in the light of their advice and experience. This program is highly motivating in terms of not only being a part of an initiative to increase women’s representation on boards, but also feeling the support of people gathered for the same cause.
There are many data-proven researches showing that female managers improve company performance. I believe that gender equality at workplaces enables us to benefit from the workforce and talent pool with maximum efficiency.
As Yıldız Holding, we have long been supporting equality, diversity and women’s leadership, and implementing empowerment policies. In this year’s Yıldız Holding 2020 Women Leaders Meeting, we came together with many valuable women leaders and had the opportunity to discuss topics such as importance of women’s leadership, diversity, and recognition of women’s successes in the business world. In addition, we discussed the needs, opinions and suggestions of female employees at our Çamlıca Campus at Yıldız Holding's Shared Communication Platform. Those co-working within the scope of the “Reverse Mentoring” program are evaluated by different group on the basis of talents. Then reports and development plans are generated according to the results of these evaluations.
The share of women in business world increases slowly throughout the world due to prejudices. However, diversity creates a dynamic and efficient working environment. We need such environments to reach our business targets. Differences enrich us and encourage us to innovate. Therefore, the more we see differences as gains, the stronger we become. Creating workplaces that pay attention to diversity certainly improve employee motivation and efficiency.
Didem Doğan - Atademir A.Ş. General Manager
"Receiving mentoring from leaders in their fields is a great gain "
I have been working at various departments of Yıldız Holding since 2006. I am a 4th-term mentee at Yıldız Holding Women on Board Association. I am delighted to be a part of the Women on Board Program launched to increase the number of female leaders “ready” to take part on boards so that women are represented more.
Receiving mentoring from experienced and knowledgeable leaders is a great gain for me. I believe that attending this program, which is prepared in cooperation with Turkey’s leading universities, is a great opportunity to update our know-how. Improving our knowledge is a great benefit to all participants. It is also very important for all participants that the program raises awareness on board membership.
Another important aspect of the program is that it enables us to build a “sisterhood” bridge with other female managers in business life. I believe that being in contact with other women leaders is of great value. In my opinion, building a long-term knowledge transfer network will make us a lot more confident and stronger in professional life.
The increase in the share of women especially in mid- and senior-level management in recent years improves diversity in management and enables different perspectives. Boards are the highest management levels of corporations that produce and export goods and services, and contribute to the economy. Therefore, having a greater number of women on boards will bring along different perspectives on businesses. I believe this will create very important positive effects on taking more balanced decisions.
Gül Erol - Yıldız Holding ClO
"The increase in female managers is promising "
I have been in this mentoring program for almost five months and I am proud to be a part of this initiative that aims to place more women on boards. In addition to trainings on functions, responsibilities and effectiveness of boards, we also benefit from the expertise of trainers and coaches on topics such as leadership in times of turmoil, technology, finance, public speaking, self-awareness, etc. In parallel to current developments, working on the challenges caused by the pandemic has also supported us greatly during this period. In addition, being a part of a sincere and powerful network of highly competent women is both enjoyable and functional.
I believe that the attention paid to governance processes, rational thinking in decision-making, quality, business ethics, strategic thinking, and sensitivity are major contributions of women to boards. Although there is still a long way to go in terms of increasing female representation on boards in Turkey, the increasing trend is promising and pleasing. Based upon the principle of sustainability, this progress can only be functional with a long-term and strategic viewpoint. I believe women leaders are talented and play a pioneering role in this sense.
I think gender diversity in the business world will set an example to all other areas and ensure justice. Diversity means different opinions, richness, creativity, and shared wisdom. Companies adopting diversity not only enable people to express themselves freely, but also grow through differences, appeal to new talents, become more sustainable, and generate more value. I am happy to receive feedback from young people or colleagues in earlier stages of their careers and to hear about their views. The bravest statements, the most striking comments always come from young people. I believe it is a refreshing process that serves as a mirror for me.
July 2020, Capital
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