We’re here, ready, waiting…
Many studies have shown that companies with a high number of women on their boards perform much better in almost every field, and that such companies have better ethical reputation, lower levels of corruption and that they take better calculated risks. However it seems pointless for us to talk about these subjects.
There is no need to look for reasons to have sufficient female representation. In a world where half the population and talent are women, if there aren’t enough of them on company boards, this is not because of the lack of “eligible women”, but rather a sign that the system isn’t working properly and that women are getting stuck during the process. Women can’t solve this problem that was created by the system on their own. The system itself should be doing that. Therefore in addition to being a platform that prepares strong candidates for boards, WOB Turkey plays an active part in the resolution of this problem by bringing together the various stakeholders so that the system can work efficiently. It is a strong organization that keeps growing and that paves the way for solutions through open dialogue.
When we initiated the “Cross-company Mentoring Program for More Women on Boards” nine years ago, the ratio of women on the boards of publicly traded companies in Turkey was 11%. It is 16% today. We can’t call this a success. We are a country that can do great things in a short period of time, and we must solve this problem by taking common decisions with all the stakeholders. We must make this system work by working hand in hand; as companies carry out their part, whether on their own initiative or with the guidance of regulatory agencies, organizations such as ours will be preparing women candidates for board membership while women must set this as their objective.
The idea that a major obstacle is that “there are no female candidates adequately prepared and experienced” is not valid anymore. Ever since we started our work we have graduated 140 women ready to be candidates for boards, who have been educated on the subject and have received mentorship. In our 4th Term, our 60 mentees are preparing to join them by receiving mentoring and training. Our pool of candidates ready for Board Membership is up to 200 persons. When organizations want to increase their ratio of female board members, there are lists that present them with candidates ready for the position, executive placement firms working free of charge as well as organizations and publications that appreciate what they do. Their efforts are supported and rewarded. Therefore we believe that today companies don’t face any obstacles related to this matter.
We are here, waiting, ready to participate and to support.
WOB Turkey Board of Directors President
Executive Partner Mentor Consulting
Insead Business School Executive Coach