Meet A WINner: Elif Tutum Tuncer


We are so proud to have Elif co-lead our People & Culture Circle as well as our DEI programs. 

Elif Tutum Tuncer moved to the Netherlands a few years ago due to her appointment as the Global Talent & OD Director at Signify. She then took over the Global Head of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion role. In her profession, she creates value by embedding Human Resources programs into operational business plans, navigating through paradoxes to deliver business results. She likes to as how work needs to change to keep up with the diverse needs of our people, customers, and investors to build more inclusive ecosystems.

Elif also coaches and mentors transitioning leaders, women, and early career talents, and is always willing to exchange know-how and experience with other professionals, believes in richness in diversity to form more mature opinions.


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

Reaching your goals is not a success if you compromise your values along the way.

One thing you wish you had known earlier in your career.

You have no control over many of the things that happen in life. Don't spend your time and energy on them. You can, however, control how you respond to those things. You can influence people with praise and by making your expectations clear. And you can work on managing your emotional response when things don’t turn out the way you want.

What is the most courageous thing you have ever done?

Relocating with my family at the age of 35 with no prior living abroad experience.

If you could have any three people (dead or alive) over for dinner – who would they be?

Ataturk,  Turkan Saylan, Brene Brown

Who are your role models?

Ruth Bader Ginsburg (never give up) , Jane Fonda (age is not something to be afraid), Jacinda Ardern (authenticity wins)

Name a book you read that positively shaped you.

Dare to Lead, Brene Brown

You believe in sisterhood at work because…

when we come together and amplify each other, we can help drive positive change within our organizations and communities.  Yes, we need allies for gender equality, but we also need each other to grow stronger.

If you had one superpower, what would it be?

Helping people to find out their true selves with one hug.

Share a story about a time when you were really proud of your achievement.

The first feedback of my first coaching client and recognizing my impact on others.

Share a story about a time when you recovered from a great mistake.

During the crisis moment, I tried to focus on the best possible solution to minimize the risks and impact on others. Reorientation of my focus helped me to stay calm at the moment. However, this did not mean that I stopped worrying about the mistake; I just postponed till the storm passed. After sleeping on it, I reflected on my own first, then with trusted colleagues and advisors to understand what could have been different. 

Your advice to the next generation of professional women from your learnings.

Develop your self-awareness, find mentors,  claim your voice and space at the table and dare to lead.

Do you have any pets?

I have a cat!

Describe yourself as a teenager in 3 words

Social, ambitious, and creative

What’s in your handbag right now? What are your absolute must-haves in travels?

Hand cream, wet towel, mask:)

Last book you read or are reading now.

The disciplines of inclusive leaders - Andres Tapia and Alina Polonskaia

If you had a time machine, to which era would you want to travel in time? Past or future and why?

While I'm a huge fan of 18th-century fashion and architecture, I cannot imagine myself at those times in terms of human rights. So I would prefer to go to the future to see if we will be able to achieve the long-awaited justice and equality in the world.

If you weren’t in your industry – what would you be doing?

Acting or Journalism

What’s on your playlist right now?

Can Ozan - Sar Bu Sehri

If your house was on fire, what two things would you run back in to get?

I assume my family (including my cat) are with me then my daughter's favorite toy and my childhood album.

Who would play you in the movie of your life?

Songul Oden

What's your favorite thing in your closet right now?

White shirts - all-time favorites

You have a car trip from İstanbul to Bodrum. Choose a famous person to join you and tell us why

Phoebe Mary Waller-Bridge - I love her mind, perspective and authenticity.

You are walking on the street and suddenly, you come across Mona Lisa. What do you do?

Just would go and ask - What were you thinking while he was painting your portrait? 

If you were a new festival: What would be your name and how would people celebrate?

Genuine - come as you are. There would be a variety of celebrations. From chill places where you can listen to jazz or acoustic, have a massage, and relax to the hard-core party tents where you can dance and act like crazy and of course - good food.

If you were to create the 5. Season, what would her name be and what would the weather be like?

Serenity - 19-23 degrees, warm nice weather with morning and evening breezes. Light rain from time to time.

How did you overcome the glass ceiling?

Claiming my space at the table by clear expectation setting and following my values.

How do you keep your growth mindset going?

Curiosity and challenging my assumptions

What is your advice on beating the imposter syndrome?

Whenever you hear a voice that limits your capabilities, tries to set boundaries, and reminds you of risks - that's not your true voice. That's your saboteur. So tell your saboteur: thank you for your all good intentions to protect me; however, I'm a grown woman, and I know I can do all I want, and that's ok if I fail, that's always better than the regret of not trying.


Watch Elif's Global Career story at our giveback platform BinYaprak

Global Kariyerler | Elif Tutum Tuncer, Pelin Durtas Baspinar, Funda Haktanir

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