Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey

EBRD and TOBB hold workshop to strengthen women's representation on companies' boards of directors

22.06.2022 / 

In cooperation with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB), a workshop on “Supporting the Improvement of the Representation of Women in Boards of Directors in Turkey: Legislation and Regulations,” was held in Ankara.​

Speaking at the opening of the workshop, TOBB Board Member Cengiz Günay said that as TOBB, they have been working hard since 2007 to represent women more in business life and to strengthen their place in society.

Günay said: “This movement, which started in 2007 with the intense insistence and effort of TOBB President M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu, has become the most active and extensive network of women entrepreneurs in the region with more than 8,000 volunteer women entrepreneurs today. With the mobile software development, sales-marketing, digital and green transformation trainings we organized, we reached nearly 100,000 women entrepreneurs and contributed to the development of the competencies of working and entrepreneurial women. All these activities are carried out so that women can say, ‘I can do it too.’”

Arvid Tuerkner, EBRD Director for Turkey, said promoting gender equality is one of the EBRD's key priorities, adding: “We are working closely with our clients across all sectors and regions to create more and better opportunities for women to access different types of jobs and corporate leadership positions. We also promote diversity at the board and senior management level, as it is a fundamental component of good corporate governance and effective decision-making.

Despite the progress made in recent years, the proportion of women on the boards of listed companies is still 16.7%. In addition, the number of companies without female managers in Borsa Istanbul is still very high with 33% in 2020. The EBRD is committed to encouraging stakeholders to work together to make progress in this area in Turkey.”

Following the opening speeches, academic studies addressing the economic benefits of the representation of women in boards of directors were presented. Anthony Miller, Coordinator of the UN Sustainable Commodity Exchanges Initiative, also explained the activities of the Sustainable Stock Exchanges Initiative.

At the workshop, the Roadmap, which was coordinated by Sabancı University Corporate Governance Professor Melsa Ararat and adopted last year, was also shared with the participants.

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