Roadmap aims to get more women on boards of Turkish companies

By Gokhan Ergocun

ISTANBUL (AA) – Turkey’s state bodies, financial institutions, and professional and non-governmental organizations have prepared a roadmap to increase the inclusion of women on the boards of local companies.

The roadmap was developed with funding from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and in partnership with the Ministry of Family and Social Services, the Capital Markets Board of Turkey, Borsa Istanbul and the International Finance Corporation, business associations, and professional women’s networks, according to a statement by the EBRD.

The initiative seeks to ensure greater representation of women in corporate decision-making, the bank said.

“The document links presence of women on boards to stronger corporate governance, improved financial performance and better corporate environmental and social outcomes,” read the statement.

Melsa Ararat, professor of corporate governance at Sabanci University, said: “The enthusiastic contribution of the participating institutions in developing the roadmap is reassuring for successful implementation … We envisage an entirely inclusive process and invite all interested parties to join the implementation efforts.”

The roadmap aims to create awareness about the benefits of multifaceted boards and boost the share of women by increasing and making visible women candidates, the statement added.

“The EBRD promotes access to economic opportunities for all as a means to ensure sustainable and inclusive growth,” said Arvid Tuerkner, EBRD managing director for Turkey.

“As part of this, we believe that the enabling environment for women’s participation in the economy at all levels including decision-making roles at board level should be enhanced.”

Rifat Hisarciklioglu, head of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB), said: “The only way for our country to take its place among the countries that achieve sustainable development is to increase the representation of women in all areas.”