TSKB’s “Equal Steps Platform” For Equality of Opportunities in The Business World

26 February 2019
- 3 min Read

Established with a mission of creating value for Turkey’s inclusive and sustainable development, TSKB added a new project to its women’s employment and equal opportunities projects with the Equal Steps Platform. The platform, which was established within the SKD Turkey’s business partnership and with the support of TSKB and the French Development Agency, serves as a digital guidebook for women’s employment in the business world. As well as the considerable applications companies have made and recent developments regarding equal opportunities in “Equal Steps”, it also provides a digital library platform where reports, legislation and regulations are stored.

TSKB is creating value for Turkey’s sustainable and inclusive development and continues to increase the financial support it provides with social projects in the field of women’s employment and equal opportunities. TSKB brought the Equal Steps platform ( into practice with the aim of creating awareness in the field of equal opportunities, and provides a rich range of content concerning equality of opportunity. It started a journey with the business partnership of the Business World and Sustainable Development Association (SKD Turkey) and the support of TSKB and the French Development Agency, with a view that ‘equality in opportunity is essential for economic development’, sharing a range of interesting content for both men and women.

Besides the number of good practices that the companies have made and recent developments concerning equal opportunities in “Equal Steps”, it also provides a digital library platform that contains reports, legislation and regulations, thus aiming to create an inclusive reference point for professionals and the individuals interested in this subject.

“Equal Opportunities are not only creating important value in a social sphere but also economically.”

TSKB’s Assistant General Manager, Çiğdem İçel, underlined that while there was a still long way to go when compared with the OECD in general, there had been rapid development in the field of equal opportunities in Turkey. She stated that “Research emphasises that once gender equality is achieved, the contribution to the global economy could reach $28 trillion. These numbers show that equal opportunities do not only creating important value in the social sphere but also economically. Progress depends on raising awareness in the business world, sharing examples of good practices and cooperation. Because companies with a higher level of awareness are providing a better working environment for women and paving the way for women’s participation in the economy. We are placing tremendous importance on the incremental growth effect and bringing a number of projects into practice, both through financial support and by raising awareness.”. Mrs. İçel also highlighted thatThe Equal Steps Platform is one of the most recent examples of our work in this area.

She continued her speech as follows: “We established Equal Steps with the cooperation of SKD Turkey and the French Development Agency, and it will serve as a unique source of information for companies in their equal opportunities journey and will fulfil the needs of a very large profile. In particular, it will serve as a supportive guide for the companies eager to achieve progress in equal opportunities area but are not sure where to start. We believe that Equal Steps will especially make a difference in determining a road map for companies in the field of equal opportunities. Examining the experiences of companies which have proceeded in this field and put their projects to promote equality of opportunity into practice will most surely have an encouraging effect too.”.

“Women’s employment represents an important milestone in TSKB’s journey of inclusive and sustainable development.”

İçel reiterated TSKB’s sustainable contribution to women’s employment, both through financial support and with social projects, and said: “Women’s employment marks an important milestone in TSKB’s journey of inclusive and sustainable development. We took an important step with the funds provided to us by the French Development Agency in 2016 and started to support investment credit for firms seeking to provide a better working environment for women. In evaluating the firms to have benefited from this credit to promote work in the field of equal opportunities, we are pleased to note that they have achieved 30% progress in a space of time as short as a year and have created new employment opportunities for many women.”.

She underlined that he EUR 100 million fund was the first credit they provided from the AFD, which served as a significant source of motivation for them. “We signed a similar agreement with the World Bank this year, this time for USD 400 million. We are continuing to extend and build on our financial support in the field of women’s employment. On the social side of the work, we are placing special importance on areas of cooperation and awareness. In particular, we have productive cooperation with non-governmental organizations in the business world.”.

She laid emphasis on providing support for the shared projects and playing an active role in the “Equal Opportunities” taskforces of national and international initiatives such as SKD Turkey, TUSIAD, the Global Compact and the IDFC (International Development Finance Club). “Moreover, equality of opportunity has an important place in our institutional social responsibility focus. For instance, we have developed a scholarship fund entitled “Eğitimden Üretime (From Education to Production)” with TEV (Turkish Education Foundation) for women college students, because education is the first step in working life. It gives us great satisfaction to hear that our friends who have benefited from this fund have graduated and started their working life. Similarly, as part of our efforts to support the careers of young highly gifted women musicians who are educated in the field of classical music, we put the “Women Stars of Tomorrow (Yarının Kadın Yıldızları)” project in practice with IKSV (Istanbul Culture and Art Foundation). To learn that the musicians who benefited from this scholarship have won prizes abroad is a great source of pride for us.”

Equal Steps Social Media Accounts