LEAD Turkey Chapter Networking Event


March  2019


LEAD Network Turkey Chapter Annual Conference

Diversity & Inclusion in LEADership
Removing Unconscious Biases

LEAD Network Turkey Chapter held its 2nd D&I in Leadership Conference this year, sponsored by Johnson & Johnson, Nestle, P&G, Pepsico, Unilever, CarrefourSA, Lila Group and Nielsen. The main theme of the conference was “Ending Unconscious Biases”, and throughout the day thought leaders and senior leaders of retail and CPG industries shared their personal experiences and organizational best practices around gender equality, empowering women, diversity, inclusion and increasing the number of females in the workforce and in senior leadership positions.

In her opening remarks, Chapter Chair Fusun Tavus Mumcu pointed out that even though the overall workforce in retail and CPG is around 55% women, this percentage is not reflected in the central offices and leadership positions and stated that the mission of the LEAD Network is to work towards increasing the number of women in senior leadership roles.

Füsun Tavus Mumcu also announced that she’s handing over her role as LEAD Network Turkey Chapter Chair to Aysun Zaman, FMCG Marketing and Marketing Director of Migros Turkey.
New Chapter Chair Aysun Zaman stated that all research shows that the more gender diverse a company, the better their financial outcomes. Therefore, female representation is not only vital for company success but also for our country’s economy.

Highlights from the conference:

  • LEAD Network Executive Director Sharon Jeske mentioned that the Turkey Chapter is the fastest growing chapter among the 7 chapters in Europe and emphasized the LEAD Network mission of empowering women.
  • During his chat with Sharon Jeske, Lila Group CEO Alp Ogucu talked about their gender diversity focus and announced their pledge to increase female representation in senior leadership roles by 5% in the next 3 years.
  • In his talk titled ”Managing the Future”, Prof. Dr. Emre Alkin said that regrettably Turkey lacks a solution oriented competition. He stated that better development is more important than growth and gender diversity is an important driver in this journey.
  • In her talk titled “Gender Diversity in the Workplace for Sustainable Growth”, EY Partner Demet Ozdemir emphasized the importance of diversity and inclusion for sustainable growth and mentioned that the companies who have 30% females in their boards perform at least 6% better financially compared to their competitors with less women on their boards.
  • The panel “Women in Supply Chain – How They Broke Biases” was moderated by Secil Ozekin Erdogan from the LEAD Network Supply Chain Chapter. Panelists Cristina Meson, PepsiCo Human Resource Senior Director; Sermin Palamutcu, CarrefourSA Stock Planning Manager; Nihal Temur, Unilever NAMETRUB Supply Chain Leader and Seda Kalkandelen, Chep Client and Retail Operations Manager shared their personal experiences about being a women in supply chain, how they overcame challenges, how they’re leading the way for gender diversity in their organizations and for future generations.
  • In her talk titled “We See Equal”, P&G Human Resources Director Berna Yener Aksu shared best practices from P&G. She talked about unconscious bias training sessions they provide and its impact. She also mentioned that in their efforts for equality, they recently increased paternity leave to 8 weeks.
  • In his talk titled “The Power of Common Sense”, Erdem Cakir, Nestle Turkey Sales General Manager, stated that better results are closer when you remove the unconscious biases. He also mentioned that their board is 58% women.
  • In her presentation titled “Balance for Better”, Prof. Sengul Hablemitoglu highlighted why gender equality is an irreplaceable value and diversity and inclusion requires social transformation. She talked about the importance of understanding power and privilege, that privilege is invisible to the privileged and that we need to create awareness about privilege in order to break biases.
  • In a session titled “Age is a Cliché” with Ece Vahapoğlu, Johnson and Johnson Consumer Goods Marketing Director Gulden Duykan Kankotan talked about best practices in J&J including 8 weeks of paternal leave. She also talked about the power of advertisement and how companies can leverage this power to increase awareness on gender equality not only within the organization but for society at large.
  • The panel “Career Talks” was moderated by Teknosa CEO Bulent Gurcan. The panelists Aysun Zaman, Migros FMCG Marketing Director; Arzu Aslan Kesimer, Tat Gıda CEO and Didem Sekerel Erdogan, Nielsen Retailer Regional Leader EE MEA & Turkey General Manager shared their inspirational career journeys as well as how their companies are advancing diversity and inclusion.
  • LEAD Network Turkey Education Committee Chair Esra Altun announced that the first round of L2L (Lead to Lead) mentoring has been successfully completed. In recognition, on behalf of the mentors, LEAD Network Turkey chapter made donations to an NGO that sponsors underprivileged girls’ education. Mentor and mentee experiences have been shared during the conference and the second round of mentor-mentee match will be made soon.