Women in Europe Awards

By 10/23/2016April 25th, 2020No Comments
  • Jury’s Award: Woman in Power
    An award for women showing extraordinary leadership on a European level is a new initiative put forward  by the European Movement International and the European Women’s Lobby. A Jury composed of high-level stakeholders from the cultural, social, media and political sectors will decide in December 2016 on a shortlists based on the nominations received from members of the European Movement International and the European Women’s Lobby. the Turkey European Union Association also known as the European Movement – Turkey has nominated Zeynep BODUR OKYAY as their candidate for the Woman in Power  Award.
  • Her present Occupation : President and CEO of Kale Group of Companies.Kale Group, which was founded in 1957 by Zeynep Bodur Okyay’s late father Ibrahim Bodur, pioneered the formation of the ceramics industry in Turkey, and has become an industry giant internationally, Europe’s 3rd and the world’s 12th largest ceramics manufacturer, with investments in Turkey, Italy and Russia. Comprising of 17 companies, and investments in various areas such as machinery and equipment manufacturing, chemistry, electrical appliances, energy, IT, transportation as well as defence and aviation, Kale Group is regarded as one of the most important industrial enterprises of Turkey with over 5,000 employees.   Kale Group provides its products to consumers in over 100 countries via more than 400 sales points.

The Reasons why the nominee should receive the Woman in Power award can be resumed as follows:  Zeynep Bodur Okyay is not only an influential business person steering national and international operations and investments in a heavily male-dominated sector, but she is also a keen follower of global trends, firm believer in ethical leadership and an active member of various global and regional industry and civil networks.

She believes, commits and invests for a better world that is more prosperous, more sustainable and more inclusive. She is a change-maker, strong believer in social good, a civil society advocate, promoting the transformative power of civil society. She is reknown for her significant contributions in flagship projects for achieving gender equality in Turkey, specifically focusing on increasing the number of women in the industry. She asserts “It is impossible to design and achieve a success story by keeping 21 million women at home, excluded from the workforce in a population of 78 million.” She argues the keys to success for Turkey are two-fold: producing value-added high technology products and increasing women’s participation in business.

She works endlessly with passion and grit to prepare Turkey and women of Turkey for the future. As a visionary leader, she strives to ensure Turkey jumps on the bandwagon of the Fourth Industrial Revolution at just the right time since it also offers a golden opportunity to bridge the gender gap. She is a firm believer in European values. She values social consensus and cooperation between stakeholders. She believes in multi-stakeholder engagement consisting of government, private sector, academia, and civil society to achieve the common objective of increasing national, social, and economic welfare. Possessing deep knowledge about the EU acquis and European best practices, she excels in adopting and disseminating European standards, transferring know-how to address local needs and elevating local and national standards through meaningful investments in economic development and social capital.

  • The key achievements of the nominee relevant for the award are the following:
  • She has assumed active roles and prominent leadership positions in achieving gender equality. She is the Vice-President of the Economic Development Foundation, Turkey’s first and foremost NGO specialized in Turkey-EU relations and in 2010 due to her efforts she received ‘Turkey in Europe – Franco Nobili Award’ for her contributions in reinforcing relations between Turkey and the EU Member States. Guided by European values, advocating women empowerment and gender equality in Turkey, Mrs. Okyay believes in streamlining gender perspective in all areas of business, particularly in the male-dominated industry sector as well as among decision makers and policy makers.

    She serves as the first female Assembly President of Istanbul Chamber of Industry and the Vice President of the Union of Chamber and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey, the Women Entrepreneurs Council, through which she works actively to increase the representation of women on company boards, and takes immediate action to encourage STEM in the education system, providing access to financing, and promoting more active roles for women in the supply chain.

    In 2015, Mrs. Okyay assumed the Presidency of the Steering Committee of the C20 (Civil 20), an official engagement group of G20 during the Turkish Presidency of the G20. Working together with civil society representatives from all around the world including several grassroots women organisations, she has led the international civil society, raised awareness  and provided input at the highest level  to Turkey’s  pledge to continue to develop and monitor the implementation economic policies that empower women and increase women’s participation in the economy beyond 2015.

    Most recently, for the first time, she made it into the list of 30 most influential business people of Turkey by Capital and took her place as the fifth business women in that list. She was awarded for her stable and strong leadership, and her prominent and strong commitment in civil society.