Global Shapers Istanbul collaborated with CNN Türk to organize a TV debate on the current status of gender disparity in Turkey on International Women’s Day. Sanem Oktar, President of Women Entrepreneurs Association Turkey (KAGIDER) and, on behalf of the WEF communities Global Shapers and Young Global Leaders, Bengi Korkmaz, McKinsey Partner, YGL participated in the debate. They shared their perception of the issue and talked about possible pathways to more equal participation of the women in the workforce and in society.

Bengi Korkmaz started by sharing their findings in Women Matter 2016 Turkey research, aim of which is to bring transparency to  women representation in workplace by presenting facts and benchmarking, and mobilize companies to adapt diversity and inclusion programs to shape Turkey's gender equality agenda in the workplace, conducted by McKinsey in 102 leading companies of Turkey. Research shows that the 41% rate of women workforce in those companies benefits them in various ways such as that they demonstrate a high financial performance due to a better understanding of consumption choices, greater collective intelligence and effective usage of talent resources. In terms of women representation in leadership, the rate falls to 25% (on board of director level) and to 15% (on CEO level). In addition, Sanem Oktar highlighted this topic that these rates in 102 leading companies show the best case to set an example for other corporations, as the rate of women employment general in Turkey is only 27,5%. Therefore, she called all corporations to action to double up the efforts to create  more gender equal workplaces.  

The debate has been concluded by giving positive messages to encourage more Turkish women to actively participate in the economic life.