Meet A WINner: Melek Pulatkonak

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Melek Pulatkonak is the Founder of TurkishWIN. She is a TEDster, entrepreneur, and change maker. You are likely to meet her at a TurkishWIN event😊Obse...
Melek-Pulatkonak--MeetAWINner

Melek Pulatkonak is the Founder of TurkishWIN. She is a TEDster, entrepreneur, and change maker. You are likely to meet her at a TurkishWIN event😊

Obsessed with diversity and inclusion, she founded the Turkish Women's International Network (TurkishWIN) in 2010. Before becoming a full-time social entrepreneur, Melek Pulatkonak worked at Microsoft’s Global Startup Business Team. Before that, she was the Deputy GM at Microsoft Turkey responsible for the Developer and Platform Evangelism.

Prior to moving back to Turkey for Microsoft, Melek was the President & COO of Hakia, a semantic technology company in New York where the company received $25 million in funding. Before her tech entrepreneurship journey, she held various roles in the finance sector in New York, ranging from advising the Chairman of the Istanbul Stock Exchange to ADR researcher as the Research Associate at the New York Stock Exchange.

Melek Pulatkonak has an MBA from the Columbia Business School and a B.Sc. degree from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

What do you do for a living? Tell us more about you.

I am the Founder of TurkishWIN. I feel lucky and grateful every day. I had a dream- a dream of bringing together amazing, crazy, passionate women to inspire each other and to give back together. This dream is now shared with thousands of women.

I am a curious soul, a community designer, a good friend, a daughter and the cat mom of “Kofte,” my 17-year-old Persian cat.

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What's the best piece of advice you've received?

I have received so many! This is my favorite of 2021: “When you simply can’t try any harder, it is time to find an easier path.” by Greg McKeown His new book, “Effortless” is a great read.

Dark chocolate or milk chocolate.

Dark chocolate.

One thing you wish you had known earlier in your career

All that stress and struggle for the perfect paper, presentation, research is so not worth it. 80% of the same work is just more than good enough- most of the time.

I have another good one😊 All that rush and race with time is so off the target! If you are like me, we will work for 40+ years. What is the rush?

What is the most courageous thing you have ever done?

Founding TurkishWIN. I had no idea the journey would be this hard and so long.

Name a book you read that positively shaped you.

“Madame Curie: A Biography” by her daughter Eve Curie. When I read this book, I have realized that I do not have a passion and am missing something big about my work and life. What Madame Curie did to attend university, to work and follow her passion, was a wake-up call for me to find my way.

You believe in sisterhood at work because…

We, women, are stronger and wiser together.

If you had one superpower, what would it be?

Read people’s fears and dreams.

Describe yourself as a teenager in 3 words

Nerd. Introvert. Ambitious.

Any tattoos?

Yes, I have and love the infinity sign on my wrist. I am planning for two more😊

Last book you read or are reading now.

“Rituals for work: 50 Ways to Create Engagement, Shared Purpose, and a Culture that Can Adapt to Change” by Kursat Ozenc and Margaret Hagan. We are so lucky to be working with Kursat on brand new TurkishWIN rituals.

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Your advice to the next generation of career women from your learnings

Spread your wings and soar to your heights at your terms in your own time. Life is too short to do otherwise! And always ask yourself, “Is there an easier way?”

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