The Woman Up Summit, took place on March 6, was a collaboration between the Robert College Junior Achievement Club and the Robotics Club’s “Kızların da Yeri Var” ("There is a Place For Girls As Well") project. Traditionally, in March, JARC would organize a large Summit, focused on entrepreneurship however this year, the Summit had a twist: with International Women’s Day coming up, the event would also explore the problem of gender inequality as well as bringing inspiring and successful people to its attendees.
The Woman Up Summit was composed of two parts: speeches and workshops. There were quite an extensive assortment of speakers who brought up different aspects of the gender inequality problem and provided a wide variety of perspectives. Banu Yelkovan, renowned sports journalist, and Kiraz Öcal, co-founder of the social enterprise Kızlar Sahada, while Zeynep Moroğlu, a businesswoman who later become a chef and established many restaurants, talked about her experiences transitioning from the business world to her dream of setting up a bakery, being the only woman when she started. Aysu Nizamoğlu Ünlü drew attention to the concrete changes made at Pfizer Turkey to create a more equal and diverse workplace, whereas Ebru Dorman talked about women in the business world, specifically the lack of women venture capital partners. Ege Kökenli talked about how women are treated compared to men and the pressures in the film sector. Also, Sinem Aydın, the coordinator of HeForShe Turkey, gave a presentation where participants got to discover their biases regarding gender norms, and explained how these norms affect people’s perspectives.
After the speakers, there were also workshops about a wide variety of topics: flirt violence, industrial design, sign language, electronic music, and leadership and managing change in politics.
Woman Up Summit was a very informative event and also an example of how Robert College clubs can draw attention to social problems via summits. The event, especially in the age of online events, was a very successful one which reached a significant number of outside attendees as well as RC students. Under immense pressure, all members of both clubs worked day and night, to put together a summit worth watching. The Woman Up Summit was proof that clubs can play a huge role in drawing attention to social issues, and it achieved its initial goal: helping women discover their potential.