Inspiring Exchange with Beba Foundation: Ümran Beba and her Mentees Share Experiences at Pepsico


We were thrilled to meet - for the first time- with our Million Women Mentor community in person in Istanbul. We are grateful to our Founding  Circle Partners, Beba Foundation for sharing their mentoring experiences, and PepsiCo Turkey for hosting us. 

Since 2021, we host “Inspiring Exchanges” where our Founding Circle Partners and their mentors share mentoring experiences, career tips, and secrets to success in their respective companies. We always held these meetings online. Today marks the first- we met in person! 

The amazing Pepsico team hosted our gathering in their headquarters office in Istanbul with smiling faces and their inspiring mentors in attendance. We had a special treat. Korhan Beba and Ümran Beba, our mentors from Beba Foundations were visiting Istanbul from New York. Ümran Beba, mentor extraordinaire, was joined by her mentees, Meltem Akçay and Yağmur Ağırbaş. Ümran Beba is the Co-Founder of Beba Foundation and Partner at August Leadership Partner. Formerly, she was PepsiCo's Senior Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion (CDO). Ümran Beba is also the thought leader and secret powerhouse who drove the Million Women Mentor program’s adoption to Turkey. Meltem Akçay is a student at Bahçeşehir University while Yağmur Ağırbaş studies at Yıldız University. Pepsico is the global supporter of STEMconnector’s Million Women Mentor movement. In short, we were in great company. 

The program started with a warm welcome by Esra Iren, Corporate Affairs Senior Director and Sustainability Lead of PepsiCo, and Mahmut Sipahi, Corporate Communications Manager of PepsiCo, followed by Million Women Mentor Turkey program updates shared by Melek Pulatkonak, Founder of TurkishWIN. We learned that the program’s high school program is off to an amazing start and met the entire Million Women Mentor Turkey team. 


In our Inspiring Exchange panel, we heard the following mentoring tips from Ümran Beba, Meltem Akçay, and Yağmur Ağırbaş: 

  • Group mentoring is a social mentoring experience with a lot of peer learning and different dynamics.  Yağmur shared her group mentoring experience with Ümran Beba. 
  • A mentor always asks good questions and guides you across your life choices in a calmer mindset. Meltem shared an amazing example from her experience. 
  • Advice to mentors: Make time to invest in your mentoring relationship. Mentoring is a two-way dialogue where you learn from each other. 
  • Advice to mentees: Be active and stay organized. You are the one driving the relationship. Be open to feedback and trust the process. 
  • Learning by doing is highly recommended. When you write a book, you learn about reading and books. When you teach, you learn a topic much better. 
  • Invest in your network.

The panel concluded on a high note by Ümran Beba, ''Beba Foundation's mission is to give back and support young and women entrepreneurs. Million Women Mentor - Turkey Program is a huge undertaking that will have a significant impact on many women's lives and we are proud to be one of the Founding Members. We are confident we will reach our goal of 1 million mentoring connections within 10 years.'' she said.



The meeting was followed by a fun speed networking session where mentors, mentees, and program partners shared experiences. 

We are grateful to our program partners for their continuous support: U.S. Chamber’s U.S.-Turkey Business Council, TurkishWIN's BinYaprak platform, STEMconnector, and TOBB. The Millon Women Mentor Turkey movement convenes STEMConnector’s global expertise and TurkishWIN’s wide network of mentors, and mentees via BinYaprak’s digital platform. Milyon Kadına Mentor program is supported by Founding Circle Partners, Akbank, Turkey, Beba Foundation, Borusan Kocabıyık Vakfı, DFDS, EnerjiSA, Getir, PepsiCo Turkey, Petrol Ofisi, Unilever Türkiye and Technology Sponsor Turkcell. The program will gain strength as it grows to support women on their career journey.

A special thanks go to our Pepsico Turkey family for hosting us graciously for this event. 

You can always explore and engage in our #GiveBack program,   Million Women MentorsTurkey, by following the program’s website.  

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