In Turkey, women often have fewer opportunities than men, receiving less education, lower pay and less assistance in developing businesses. An online initiative is seeking to narrow the gender gap by providing a way for Turkish women to exchange ideas, network and form business connections across borders.
TurkishWIN, the Turkish Women’s International Network, has developed an online networking platform that connects its members with other women around the world, enabling them to share their stories and to develop mentor-mentee relationships.
In the 2013 World Economic Forum Global Gender Gap Report, Turkey was ranked 120th, and 122nd among countries that had been included in previous years. The rankings are determined through a number of factors, including female income relative to male income, female literacy rates, and participation of women in government.
Videos in the ‘TEDtalk’ format are hosted on TurkishWIN’s website, telling the stories of individuals who are involved with the organization and the effort to close the gender gap in Turkey.
In addition to their online initiative, TurkishWIN host events around the world. They are based in London, San Francisco, Istanbul, New York and Boston, and bring speakers to the cities to discuss their career paths and to give advice to younger members.
The organization intends to take their mission further. They are aiming to provide scholarships and mentoring for Turkish women attending university, and provide a way for entrepreneurs to become connected to an advice network.
A separate support system is provided for specifically technology and biotechnology entrepreneurs. In this program, an entrepreneur is selected and paired with a mentor based on their personal needs. The partnership lasts a year, and is open to members in any stage of their business development.