Murat Ülker: “There should be more women managers in Boards of Directors”

Female administrators who participated in the “Mentoring Among Companies Program for More Women on Boards of Directors” came together with the hospitality of Murat Ülker.

40 women administrators selected for the program within the scope of The “Mentoring Among Companies Program for More Women in Boards of Directors,” that was started by Praesta Turkey with the cooperation of Forbes Turkey, came together for the first time for a special discussion with Yıldız Holding Board of Directors Chairman Consultant Rose Marie Bravo. Yıldız Holding Board of Directors Chairman Murat Ülker said that “Since 50 percent of the consumers are women the number of women on Boards of Directors should increase.”

The first development meeting within the scope of the “Mentoring Among Companies Program for More Women in Boards of Directors” which was started in order for the Turkish business world to utilize more of the work force potential, ‘to benefit more from the women’s perspective’ in administrative stages and increase the number of women that are in decision-making positions of companies was hosted by Yıldız Holding with Rose Marie Bravo. 
In this stage of program development, which has been brought to life under the sponsorship of Yıldız Holding and Datateknik, the mentees who are preparing for board of directors positions came together for the first time in Yıldız Holding’s Headquarters Building in Çamlıca. In the opening speech made by Yıldız Holding Board of Directors Chairman and mentor to the program, Murat Ülker he expressed that he wanted to see more women in boards of directors and added, "While 50 percent of consumers are women I cannot consider their not being represented in boards of directors. The level of empathy in women, their integrated approach ability and their intuition is advanced and they can be very effective in the business world with these talents. We have included four of our female General Managers in this program as Yıldız Holding. It is very important in terms our companies being entrusted to future generations that the mentors that are leaders in the business world transfer their experiences and visions to the women administrators who are preparing to take on responsibilities in boards of directors” and the “Mentoring Among Companies Program for More Women in Boards of Directors” is very valuable both to mentors and mentees.” 

Rose Marie Bravo: “If you like the work you do, you will be very good at it”
The first guest at the development meetings, “Mentoring Among Companies Program for More Women on Boards of Directors,” mentor Rose Marie Bravo shared her experiences with mentees. Bravo, who has worked in such positions as CEO/Board of Directors Member for fashion brands such as Burberry, Saks Fifth Avenue and Godiva, is still active on the boards of Estee Lauder and Tiffany’s. Bravo, who also serves as Yıldız Holding Board of Directors Chairman Consultant said, “If you like the work you do, you will be very good at it. The instincts of women about products are very valuable and it is necessary to utilize this.” Bravo gave examples from business life and recommended that participants not compromise on their ethics, express themselves not with emotions but with actions and to learn how to be convincing without getting emotional. 

The “Mentoring Among Companies Program for More Women in Boards of Directors” aims to remove the systemic obstructions that are in the way of women, who make up half of the population, reaching decision-making positions. In this program, which was held for the first time in England in 2004 and spread to the rest of the world, chairmen of the boards of directors of prominent companies serve as mentors to female administrators with high potential.

The program, which was organized for the first time in Turkey, aims to contribute to female professionals gaining experience with the support of mentors comprised of prominent administrators from the business world and create public awareness in order to remove one of the biggest obstructions on the way to the top, which is prejudice. With this goal the “Mentoring Among Companies Program for More Women on Boards of Directors” unites the founders, board of directors chairman and leaders of Turkey’s leading companies with educated, successful and high potential female administrators on this mentoring platform.

Within the framework of this program each mentor will provide the female administrator they have been assigned to with guidance during 10 meetings of two hours each in which they will convey “the details of serving on a board of directors” over the course of one year, in order to remove any deficits in experience. With this project, while the business leaders that have undertaken the role of mentor are contributing to the creation of a high variety talent pool on the road to board of directors membership they will also use their knowledge, experience and accumulations to create an important shift in the community. 

In the meantime the women who have been selected for the program are able to take advantage of the opportunity to establish communication and relations with influential business leaders and are provided with important guidance for their membership on a board of directors. They will also increase their knowledge about corporate governance principles and the expectations regarding board of directors members and expand communication networks through mentors that will contribute to their election to a board of directors.

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