ISTANBUL, March 8, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Arcelik, the global household appliances company that recently has been listed in Bloomberg's 2023 Gender Equality Index (GEI) for the first time, now shares its wide-ranging initiatives to advance gender parity to mark this year's International Women's Day.
As a signatory of the UN's Women Empowerment Principles, the company has actioned extensive projects across its value chain to drive social change, from closing the digital skills gaps to boosting women in leadership. A key initiative announced as part of Arcelik's support for the UN Women backed Action Coalition platform, in line with Koc Holding's global leadership at the United Nations Women's Generation Equality Forum, aims to boost the number of women entrepreneurs, and help unlock their economic potential through mentoring and networking opportunities as well as fund support to maximise their project's impact. In the past year alone, Arcelik has facilitated the transfer of $8 million USD in funds to boost women's entrepreneurship and business development.
As part of this commitment, Arcelik aims to increase the number of women entrepreneurs in the retailer ecosystem by providing specialist training in finance, product and sales, mentorship with industry experts, as well as practical support to establish physical retail sites. In 2022, with "Beko 100 Women Dealers" project, the Company's Beko brand almost doubled the percentage of women dealers, reaching 9% in 2022 and putting it on course to achieve its target of 25% by 2026.
Bridging the gender digital divide
Arcelik's ambitions to foster women's empowerment extends well beyond the organisation and recognises the need to tackle systemic barriers much earlier, especially in technology and innovation sectors where women are underrepresented. Its programmes specifically target women and girls at the beginning of their professional journeys, and seek to empower them with skills, knowledge and the confidence to enter careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.
Through this ambition, Arcelik designed the WE-inTech program for women completing higher education, aiming to ease their entry into STEM-related careers via mentorship, networking, and training opportunities. The program is being applied in four countries including Romania, Pakistan, Turkey and South Africa.
Toygan Pulat, Chief People Officer at Arcelik, said: "As well as celebrating women's achievements, International Women's Day is an important moment to reflect on how far we have yet to go to achieve true gender equality across society.
"At Arcelik, our ambition is to empower women with the right skills and tools to thrive and help remove barriers to entry into key sectors such as business and technology. As these barriers often emerge well before women enter the workforce, we aim to engage girls and young women throughout their education journey to tackle stereotypes and start building their confidence to participate and lead in the tech sector. For us, this is a continuous mission."
Arcelik is committed to continually improving its initiatives supporting women across its global operations and has set crucial targets to ensure this progress continues. By 2030, the company aims to increase the percentage of women working across the business with targets set at 35% women working in the total workforce, 30% in all management positions and 38% in STEM-related positions. And in line with this vision and our commitment to gender equality within Arcelik we are strengthening our women empowerment programs.
With 45,000 employees throughout the world, Arcelik's global operations include subsidiaries in 52 countries, and 30 production facilities in 9 countries and 12 brands (Arcelik, Beko, Grundig, Blomberg, ElektraBregenz, Arctic, Leisure, Flavel, Defy, Altus, Dawlance, Voltas Beko). Arcelik, Europe's second largest white goods company with its market share (based on volumes), reached a consolidated turnover of 7.7 billion Euros in 2022. Arcelik's 29 R&D and Design Centers & Offices across the globe are home to over 2,300 researchers and hold up to 3,000 international registered patent applications to date. In 2022, Arcelik achieved the highest score in the DHP Household Durables category for the 6th year in a row (based on the results dated December 2022) in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index of the S&P Global Corporate Sustainability Assessment. Through its leadership position in sustainability and credible decarbonization roadmap for achieving net zero, Arcelik became the first and only company from its industry to receive the Terra Carta Seal by His Majesty King Charles III. Arcelik's vision is 'Respecting the World, Respected Worldwide.'