ULI Turkey: Women in Real Estate – A Panel Discussion

On 2 May, ULI Turkey organised a panel with the goal of highlighting women’s issues in real estate.  The event allowed industry experts to share their knowledge on the topic and by provided an interactive discussion forum for attendees.

Despite the fact that there are sufficient numbers of female managers in the real estate industry, there is still a problem of visibility. The ULI Women’s Leadership Initiative (WLI) hopes to address this problem and offer ways in which women’s visibility can be improved in the industry.  Some possible activities in Turkey include:

  • Efforts to include more women on panels.
  • Starting a mentorship program, where more experienced members help young women members,
  • Holding periodic events to increase awareness.
  • Launching educational activities in high schools and universities for directing girls and young women into the industry.

The panel was moderated by Güniz Çelen, CRE, MAI, FRICS, founder of the Çelen Consultancy and Appraisal Group. Speakers were Sevda Alkan, Sabancı University and Project Manager, Independent Women Directors; Pınar Ersin Kollu,Head of Legal Counseling and Human Resources Group, Real Estate Investment Trust Co.; Nesrin Nas, Former MP and the President of the Motherland Party; and Şule Yüksel, Member of the Board, KAGİDER (Women Entrepreneurs Association).

Nearly 40 attendees, mostly women, participated in the event.

Key Discussion points:

  • 40 percent of ULI members in Turkey are women.
  • The way to increase productivity is to employ more women.
  • Turkey lags behind the rest of the world in terms of employment of women. Turkey has a 27% employment rate of women, compared to a 60% global average.
  • 35% of women quit their jobs after having their first child; and 55% after having their second child.
  • Sevda Alkan noted that Sabancı University has established a database of women who are capable of participating as independent Board Members in listed companies.
  • Panellists agreed that affirmative action and quotas are of vital importance.