On December 12th, over 100 TurkishWIN members and friends gathered at Vodafone Istanbul to hear from four incredible women who have been trailblazers in their careers. We came together to unite under one idea: “You have the power to make a difference.”
The event started with networking where guests reconnected with old friends and met new ones. Melek Pulatkonak, founder of TurkishWIN and BinYaprak, welcomed us to the event and shared updates about TurkishWIN. We also watched the inspiring speech of CampusWINner İnci Kadribegiç, medical student at Trakya University, who has recently launched a crowdfunding campaign to help fight cancer. Support her here and watch her video here.
Our first speaker was Buse Sinem İren, a comedienne who frequently uses gender inequalities in fairy tales as part of her content. There is no Prince Charming in the real world, so we shouldn't spend our lives trying to find him. Coming from a Laz family, she had been raised as a woman who believed that she is capable of anything that men are also capable of. One memory she never forgets is her grandmother’s response to the story of Rapunzel where she replied “Why is she waiting for someone to go down when she can go down herself?” Buse believes most civilizations progress with women’s active role in society and she ended her speech with this powerful quote: “Women are not desperate!”
Our second speaker was Elif Yirmibeş, Network Central Quality and Technical Manager at Vodafone, who believes her life story is a bit more ordinary than other speakers. She always follows her dreams but mentions that although things are not as perfect as she expected, this has never brought her down. She shared John Lennon's quote: “Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.” Elif always believes in herself, her team and her ability to make a difference even when others around her told that she may fail. Did she give up? Of course not! Her speech ended with a quote from Denzel Washington: “Dreams without goals are just dreams.”
Next we heard from Fatma Aymaz, entrepreneur. In her birth village almost all women married at an early age, but fortunately she was the one to break tradition. Fatma wanted to write her own story and make a positive impact on the lives of women like herself. She has done many successful things in her life such as joining a Work & Travel Program in the U.S.A. and travelling to Spain to continue her education. She has made such an impact in her birth village that bachelor men can't find any eligible wives, because she has encouraged all the women to pursue professional opportunities! Fatma shared her newest goal with us: “Going to Mars.” We wish her good luck on this adventurous path!
Our final speaker was Zeynep Erkunt Armağan, Chairwoman of Erkunt Traktor and the first woman industrialist in Turkey. She started practicing her future job when she was at primary school by shadowing her father at work and she fell in love with the industry. She stated she was lucky that her father always supported her but Zeynep’s mother sometimes said that it would be much easier if Zeynep was born a boy. At the beginning, her main goal was to prove that she is not her father’s daughter but she is a unique individual herself. Zeynep has accomplished many dreams with passion and determination and her first noticeable success in Turkey was inventing the first domestic tractor. She accepts that many people changed their views about her after the invention but also accepts that the same people adopted the tractor before they adopted her. Zeynep has many plans to break the routine several times in the future.
We would like to thank all these incredible ladies for showing us that women can achieve great successes and go past the ordinary. As TurkishWIN we believe all women can accomplish their dreams.
See more photos from the event here.