LEAD Network Turkey hosted Bulent Gürcan, the General Manager of TeknoSA, the leading electronics superstore of Turkey.
Gürcan shared his career path and his experience working with women and explained the activities TeknoSA does to empower women.
As a retailer focusing on electronics, stereotypes and prejudices against women in this sector is a real challenge for women. Only 26% of their employees are women working in the stores since the buyers are mainly men. However, this number increases to 46% at the headquarters.
Apart from signing the World Economic Forum’s Women’s Empowerment Principles and UN’s Diversity at Workplace Policy, the company created projects such as woman employees-only-store, which ended up not being a success. Gürcan also led another project that aimed at training women into internet-literates /digital-readers so that women in the rural areas can become micro-entrepreneurs, sell their handcrafted products, learn new things.
Gürcan shared his honest opinion about working with women: ‘women are meticulous in what they do, which is great. However by being meticulous, sometimes they put too much meaning into the things they are told, making them lose unnecessary energy for it’. He confessed that it was a major challenge to get where he is now, as he had to step over many very competent women on the way. And now his right arm person is a woman who is indispensable.
It was a really enjoyable morning and refreshing to hear a male executive’s point of view.