Diversity and gender equality on the Turkish labour market
Businesses and civil society organisations in Turkey recently came together with Team Sweden (Embassy, Consulate General and Business Sweden) in Istanbul to discuss diversity and gender equality on the Turkish labour market.
The importance of companies securing diversity in their staff composition was lifted in various ways, for example by designing relevant recruitment processes. It is clear that businesses benefit from diversity and gender equality; employees who are respected for who they are feel better, are more content at work and therefore also achieve better results.
One participating company stressed that it is in companies' absolute interest to hire the right skills. These skills and competences will always be found amongst a wide variety of individuals, why equality and LGBTI rights are directly linked to the issue of productivity.
Need for female role-models
There was a great interest in sharing information and experiences on what Swedish companies are doing in relation to diversity in Turkey. Adhering to company values and policies, as determined in a Swedish context, is not always uncomplicated in the Turkish market. The importance of the private sector as an actor to drive change, and the need for female role-models in many segments of the labour market was mentioned, as well as opportunities for civil society to support companies in changing attitudes and develop skills at different levels.
Six of the eleven companies established in Turkey and involved in the Swedish Leadership for Sustainable Development attended the meeting; Ericsson, H&M, IKEA, Lindex, Sandvik and Tetra Pak. The need for new types of partnerships was underlined several times and Sida's facilitative role in providing this type of platform for dialogue and relationship building attained much appreciation from both companies and organizations.