Meet A WINner: Vildan Kortan


Vildan Kortan is the global Business Operations Leaders at Bristol Myers Squibb in the United States. She is one of our Pharma Circle Leads and a passionate DEI leader and change maker. 

Meet Vildan! 

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

I am a global Business Operations Leaders at a biopharmaceutical company Bristol Myers Squibb located in New Brunswick, NJ-USA. I am responsible managing the development work at our alliance partner laboratories across the globe in support of successful execution of drug development.

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

All relationships are important.

Know that as a leader, you may not always work with high performers, in some cases you may need to get high performance from average people.

Dark chocolate or milk chocolate

Dark chocolate.

One thing you wish you had known earlier in your career

Taking risk towards a long-term goal and trying different options is acceptable and necessary, no need to rush into establishing high level of job security at the young age.

What is the most courageous thing you have ever done?

I feel have done some courageous things over the years, and one just came to me relating to business is the time I took on a global leadership role in logistics where I had only related prior experience. That role turned out to be the most enjoyable one for me.

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

I would love to have dinner with Bill Gates along with my two adult children to hear what else he knows and thinks about the global issues and the areas of focus next few decades. I think it would be a great motivational conversation for me and my children.

Name a book you read that positively shaped you.

There are so many good books helped me in different ways. Many years ago, I read a book titled “What Do I Say When” by Muriel Solomon which was very helpful in learning effective ways to communicate in the workplace. I came across to this book a few weeks ago as I was sorting my library and amazed that the content is still relevant.

You believe in sisterhood at work because…

No one can achieve alone, we need a support systems and alliances. Who would know our issues better than our sisters? I am very passionate about the sisterhood and supporting others to find their strengths, advance professionally, and find balance in their lives. There is quote that summarizes my belief and approach on this topic, “When you reach the top, you should remember to send the elevator back down for the others” by Edith Piaf.

Who are your role models?

There are so many starting with my mother who was my role model for hard work and high standards. At some point I moved from seeing individuals who achieved great positions and titles as role models to individuals who achieved great balance of positions and relationships, along with what they have done for others. Role models are everywhere, we just need to look around. Courage of Malala Yousafzai, who was shot by Taliban while she was trying to go to school. My fiends and family are role models in various aspects of their strengths.

If you had one superpower, what would it be?

I would solve the very basic problems- stop suffering from hunger across the world and stop women being denied of education and equality.

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

I recently received the Bristol Myers Squibb “Gender Partnership Award” which was a very proud moment for me. This is really, a very special award as the nomination is by the peers across this massive global company and for my efforts in helping the development of women towards advancing gender parity. I always feel proud and lucky to carry a satisfying career and raise a family, however, this recognition by the peers was a very humbling experience as it was the recognition of my strong values and passion on the topic.

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

• Nothing happens without hard work and possible sacrifices
• Having great relationships and being connected to others who has different perspectives is important
• Please help others selflessly, think about possibly on the receiving end one day
• Take some well thought out risks towards achieving your goals

You can watch Vildan's global career story at BinYaprak below.

This sharing circle is in TurkishWIN. 

Vildan Kortan is one of our Pharma Circle Leads at TurkishWIN. We thank her for supporting the rising female leaders in Turkey and globally. 



Stay In Touch

TurkishWIN is a global community of women with cultural, professional or family ties to Turkey. We network for change. Sign up to hear about our updates or join an event as our guest in your city.

© 2024 Your Company. All Rights Reserved.