The new TUSİAD is about women and technology

The new TUSİAD is about women and technology

Ever since Erol Bilecik became president of the Turkish Industry and Business Association (TÜSİAD), the institution has concentrated more on women’s issues and technology. Of course, this is the observation of an outsider, as I really would not like to do injustice to the previous presidents. TÜSİAD has always been the leading institution when it comes to empowering women in the workforce. But with Bilecik, who comes from a technology background as the founder and CEO of Turkey’s largest technology distributor, TÜSAİD now has a new perspective on how to empower women with technology. 

TÜSİAD has issued two reports in recent weeks. They are very valuable on their own, but they are also complementary.

The first focused on women in Turkey. Basically, it says that Turkey must invest in women as underlined by the part below. 

According to TÜSİAD’s “Women Matter” report, increasing women’s participation in the labor force implies significant growth potential for the global and Turkish economy. Gender diversity is a pressing global issue offering huge potential for human development, labor markets, productivity and GDP growth. If women, who account for half the world’s population, could achieve their full economic potential, the global economy would boom. In 2015, McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) estimated the size of the economic potential of gender parity, and found that in a best-in-region scenario, in which all countries match the gender diversity improvement rate of the fastest improving country in their region, as much as $12 trillion, or 11 percent, could be added to forecasts for global GDP in 2025. Turkey has a much higher economic potential than the global average. But Turkey ranks 130th among 144 countries on the Global Gender Gap Index reported by the World Economic Forum in November 2016. As Turkey has the lowest female labor force participation rate among OECD countries, increasing female participation in the workforce would be one of the most effective levers for GDP growth for Turkey.

The second report was about e-commerce. According to a report, “The Motor Force in Digitalizing World: E-commerce,” the share of global e-commerce in the total retail sector rose to $1.6 trillion in 2016 from around $630 billion in 2012. Its share in the total retail sector thus rose from 4.2 to 8.5 percent in the mentioned period. This rate is expected to hit 13 percent by 2021, according to the report, which added that 64 percent of the global e-commerce volume is also expected to be created by emerging markets by 2020. 

In Turkey, the e-commerce sector reached 17.5 billion Turkish Liras ($5 billion) in volume in 2016. While the sector’s share in the country’s total retail activities was 1.7 percent in 2012, it rose to 3.5 percent last year, according to the report. 

According to the Hürriyet Daily News, Bilecik noted that TÜSİAD defined Turkey’s digital transformation as a major focus in the coming period, adding that all actors must do what is required to achieve this key transformation in a cooperative and simultaneous manner. 

We have two reports from TÜSİAD; one says that Turkey has to invest in women and the other says Turkey has a lot to do and gain on e-commerce. Producing a policy from these reports should be easy. We would win big-time if we get our women into the e-commerce industry at any level. 

TÜSİAD has laid it out; I hope that our government will act on it.