Shattering the Glass Ceiling: Insights and Reflections from the WomanUp Event

June 2, 2023
Have you ever wondered about the invisible barriers for women in the professional world? WomanUp did, and we focused our latest event on emphasizing the truth behind this invisible barrier that restrains women from stepping into higher positions within their careers. The WomanUp event, held on 31 May 2023 at Kolektif House Levent, KoLounge, sought to shed light on this issue, the 'Glass Ceiling.'

WomanUp is an innovative, invite-only platform designed to allow women professionals to test new things, be vulnerable, and share their experiences. Driven by a passion for impacting the innovation ecosystem for personal and professional growth, WomanUp hosts quarterly events. These occasions gather a group of women professionals, including entrepreneurs, investors, corporate executives, business owners, consultants, and freelancers, fostering an environment conducive to networking, mentorship, and shared learning. WomanUp has proven instrumental in shifting women's mindset and behaviour, inspiring them to dare new things and providing numerous opportunities for connection and growth.

So, what we experience in this inspirational event:
A spirited, welcoming speech by Sabina Babayeva, COO of Hackquarters, kicked off the event. Her words set the tone for the event - determination, solidarity, and hope.

Building on the momentum, İrem Sefa Yayımlar, a Personal Brand Creator from brandyMe, delivered an insightful presentation on the power of personal branding to break glass ceilings. Unraveling the tools of Personal Branding, she outlined how these could serve as effective weapons in shattering the Glass Ceiling in the business world. Emphasizing the importance of showcasing one's work, articulating its value, and obtaining both its material and moral worth, she encouraged attendees to create their brand ambassadors.

A highlight of the day was the engaging panel discussion titled "Breaking Glass Ceilings." Işıl Hasdemir, General Manager at Dell Technologies Türkiye, and Murat Yeşildere, Senior Partner at Egon Zehnder, contributed to this enriching dialogue. They brought diverse perspectives and shared powerful anecdotes, offering the audience a glimpse into women's real-world challenges and triumphs in the corporate world.

Following the Panel, Sure Köse Ulutaş, Founder of Talentmelon, provided the audience with a keynote presentation, "Glass Ceiling in Numbers." The talk not only brought to light the stark gender disparity in professional settings but also emphasized the urgency for change.

An interactive session led by Sabina Babayeva and İrem Sefa Yayımlar allowed attendees to share their experiences, creating an environment of empathy, understanding, and solidarity.

Revealing Insights

The event showcased some poignant statistics. One, in particular, stood out - while 57% of men entering the workforce negotiate their salary, a meagre 8% of women do the same.

Audience surveys unveiled that over half of the respondents felt their gender had held them back in their careers. When asked about strategies to cultivate resilience against gender discrimination and glass ceilings, the responses ranged from self-improvement and entrepreneurship to vocal opposition against discrimination.

An intriguing question was presented to attendees: "Have you ever had to negotiate for equal pay or promotion opportunities?" Out of 100 participants, 21 confessed to having such experiences. This data highlights the reality that many women courageously advocate for their rights in the workplace, confront disparities, and actively seek fair treatment.

Ultimately, the event concluded with a clear message: glass ceilings may exist but are not unbreakable. Through personal growth, collective support, and consistent effort, we can shatter these barriers, fostering a professional world that values merit and potential, irrespective of gender or minority status.

As the saying goes, "Each woman's success should be an inspiration to another." By raising awareness, inspiring action, and fostering connections, we can look forward to a future where glass ceilings are a thing of the past, replaced by a sky full of possibilities. Let's shatter the ceiling together.

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