LEAD Turkey Chapter Networking Event


March  2019



The LEAD Network Turkey Chapter welcomed speaker Kostas Vlachos, Turkey, Middle East and North Africa General Manager for Haribo, on March 7th 2019. Kostas Vlachos shared the insights he gained into gender equality from his corporate roles in different countries. Vlachos gave the executive men and women in the room many pieces of advice, beyond exploring the question of “how we raise our children”.

He explained that we expect more from baby boys as early as they start to crawl; while we are more delicate and protective around baby girls. Vlachos said ‘’we start encouraging boys while they are babies whereas we teach girls to be afraid’’. Many years ago he read on a t-shirt in the USA “I am too pretty to do my homework, that’s why my brother has to do them” and continued: ‘’This is a very simple example of cultural discrimination, the message we give to our children unconsciously. We then realized with my wife that we sought more help from our daughter with the kitchen chores than our son, unconsciously we were shaping their perception and expectations. We should show strengthen our daughter’s self-confidence.’’

Vlachos mentioned a tweet from an Iranian leader saying that women should be in work life as long as they protect family and marriage values. He added that ‘’Any leader from any religion could have given that message. We should provide the necessary conditions for women to be in the business world. Protecting marriage and family values is the duty of both men and women. We should accept women without any provisions”.

He spoke about research that had proven that even though women are more successful in educational life, it did not reflect in their work life. Vlachos closed on the note that “I believe that gender inequality in business life reflects in the upbringing of our daughters. We should stop spinning a cocoon around them, let them break the shell of fear and run after their dreams”.