WASHINGTON, D.C. — Launched in 2021 to mentor young women in Turkey who wish to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s U.S.-Turkey Business Council is celebrating the second anniversary of its successful Million Women Mentors/Milyon Kadına Mentor program by announcing its expansion together with the program partners, Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB), TurkishWIN and STEMconnector.
The new Million Women Mentor High School program is launched today in partnership with the Informatics Association of Turkey (TBD) and is now a registered program with the Turkish Ministry of Education (MEB). The high school program enables the school administration, along with their students, to find mentors at the newly launched program website: https://binyaprak.com/milyon-kadina-mentor-liseler.
The program’s expansion to 15-18-year-old girls is expected to yield significant results according to studies conducted by the Milyon Kadına Mentor team. The early pilot program consisted of nine participating high schools, 14 institution and 50 sessions. Anonymous results of participating students indicate survey participants who have enough knowledge to pursue STEM careers was %24 before the program and now it is %70.
The Million Women Mentors/Milyon Kadına Mentor expansion not only covers the program’s reach to high schools but it also marks the expansion to welcome mentoring matches beyond STEM fields to leave no young woman behind or without a chance to find a mentor in Turkey. The Milyon Kadına Mentor program now officially welcomes mentees and mentors from all disciplines.
Milyon Kadına Mentor program is supported by Founding Circle Partners, Azelis Turkey, Beba Foundation, Logo Yazılım, PepsiCo Turkey, Petrol Ofisi and Technology Sponsor Turkcell. In just two years, the program has made outstanding progress with 900 mentors from 153 institutions and 2,071 mentees in the platform, convening the ecosystem of all stakeholders supporting young girls and women in STEM careers.
The expansion milestones are supported by new Founding Circle supporters: Akbank, Getir, DFDS, EnerjiSA and Unilever. The new Founding Circle supporters bring strategic capabilities and know-how to deepen the program’s reach and amplify its impact.
Here is what our Program Partners are saying about us:
- “We are excited to be partnering with these exemplary organizations to expand the Million Women Mentors network and support young women in Turkey in their pursuit of educations and careers,” said Dr. Jo Webber, CEO of STEMconnector. “Mentorship can be a life changing experience that motivates young women to pursue, persist and thrive in their pursuit of educational and career goals. At a time when most organizations are extremely challenged to fill their talent pipelines, initiatives like Million Women Mentors and Milyon Kadına Mentor should be a top priority for workforce development.”
- “Training Turkiye’s next generation of talented women for success in STEM and business careers will help the country close the gender gap and excel as an increasingly attractive magnet for foreign investment,” said Jennifer Miel, Executive Director of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s U.S.-Turkiye Business Council.
- “TOBB Women Entrepreneurs Board, as one of the largest women entrepreneur networks in the world with 7000 members from 81 provinces of Turkey, demonstrates the importance of encouraging women to take more roles in all areas of society and to become entrepreneurs. Our Board will significantly contribute to accessing young women with career plans in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and female mentors.” said M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu,President of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkiye.
- Echoing other program partners’ enthusiasm, Melek Pulatkonak, Founder of TurkishWIN said “ We are excited to expand the Milyon Kadına Mentor program’s reach and impact to leave no young woman behind or without the support of a mentor in Turkey. We count on our growing partners’ continued support.”
Here is what our Founding Partners are saying about us:
- Burcu Gezegen, Managing Director of Azelis Türkiye said: ‘’ We see Million Women Mentors as a very valuable movement for the dream of a world where women and men have equal rights and equal opportunities in all areas of life. It is a great pleasure for us to be a part of this program as one of the founding supporters and to have employees who have joined as mentors. We will continue to support MWM until 10 million young women in our country meet with their mentors.’’
- “Mentoring changes lives and I chose to be part of this transformation via Million Women Mentors program.” said Ümran Beba, Founder of Beba Foundation.”
- Begüm Arş Türk, Logo Group CMO said: ‘’Milyon Kadına Mentor Program, of which we are among the founding members, undertakes a very precious mission. As Logo Group, we are pleased to contribute to the program with 43 mentors so far. With the responsibility of being Turkey’s largest domestic business software brand, we attach great importance to the increase the presence of woman across our sector. As of the end of 2022, 47% of our employees and 50% of Logo Group’s top management consist of women. As a signatory of the UN Global Compact (UNGC) Women & Empowerment Principles (WEPs), we believe that promoting gender equality is one of the most important requirements for women’s representation and leadership in business. Besides technical competencies, women also offer business world emotional intelligence, tolerance and a multifaceted perspective, which are needed in business life in particular.
- “At PepsiCo Türkiye, we aim to create a more diverse, equitable and inclusive world and to achieve that, we work in line with global goals within our pep+ strategy. We’ve been building partnerships and carrying out projects for years to support gender equality. As one of the founding supporters of Million Women Mentor, we are happy to support the program with our 45 volunteer mentors since the beginning and give mentoring support for the STEM students along with our Science Girls Academy scholars.” said Evrim Şen, CEO of PepsiCo Türkiye, a Founding Circle Supporter since 2021. PepsiCo is one of the supporters of Million Women Mentor movement globally.”
- CMO of Petrol Ofisi Sinan Seha Türkseven said: "Women's participation in economic, social and cultural life is very valuable for the development of societies. As Petrol Ofisi Group, we invest in empowering women via various projects in line with our vision of 'Ready for Tomorrow from Today'. In this context, we are pleased to be one of the founding supporters of the Million Women Mentor Program launched in cooperation with TurkishWIN and the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkiye (TOBB). With this program, which aims to reach 1 million young women between the ages of 15 and 25, we will continue our efforts to motivate and inspire women to study in Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics (STEM) fields as well as non-STEM fields and high schools. In short, as Petrol Ofisi Group, it is much more than a sponsorship for us to walk alongside the great achievements of women in everything they do.
- Murat Erkan, CEO of Turkcell said: ‘’In Turkcell, the equality in opportunity has been one of the main pillars of our sustainability approach. We are glad to accompany and support our young girls and women in their future dreams thanks to “Million Women Mentor” project.’’
- “I am delighted that our collaboration which started with mentoring young women in the STEM fields is now expanding by including young women studying in all fields, and honoured to be one of the founders of this new initiative.” said Selda Özçalık, Employee Experience and Academy Senior Vice President of Akbank.
- “For the future of Türkiye, it is of great importance to support young women who pursue careers in all business areas. As DFDS, we are proud to support the Million Women Mentor Program which supports this vision.” said Fuat Pamukçu, CEO of DFDS.
- Ebru Taşçıoğlu, Head of Sustainability and Corporate Capabilities at Enerjisa said: “We have no time to lose to empower women in all areas of community life for equal opportunities for all and under all circumstances. As Enerjisa, we are happy to support the Million Women Mentor Program, which has expanded its scope. We will walk to a better future by supporting each other and learning from each other.”
- “As Getir, we are honored to be a part of the Million Women Mentors program. We believe in the value of mentorship, supporting each other, and providing guidance towards success. Together we can create a brighter future for all.” said Selin Barlın, Chief Legal and People Officer of Getir.
- ‘’At Unilever, we believe in eliminating systemic barriers through embracing equity. The Million Women Mentors program is a valuable initiative to help build the equity that will support young women to thrive in line with their talents, dreams and passions.’’ said Dilşad Tek, Unilever Middle East & Turkey Ice Cream Finance Lead & Turkey Head of Finance.
As the program expands with a growing list of mentors, mentees, founding circle supporters and ecosystem partners, the Milyon Kadına Mentor partners are looking forward to new milestones in 2023 and beyond.
If your company would like to get involved with the U.S.-Turkiye Business Council, please contact Ruya Kor at firstname.lastname@example.org.