Kilidi Kırmak

Kilidi Kırmak

For a business world that stands against any kind of discrimination, negative or positive...


We urgently need to destroy the glass ceilings of the minds

We now live in a society where women’s social, political and economic roles are being redefined. This research explains how female managers ‘succeed’ in overcoming the ‘myths’ they are made to face and the barriers and obstacles which come their way or are put there intentionally.

The research, conducted in corporation with Yönetim Kurulunda Kadın Derneği (Women on Board), examines upper and middle level female managers, their career goals and paths, success factors in business life, the distribution of the positions they hold and what sort of problems employed female managers face in their working lives. A survey of male and female managers was conducted to investigate how career, success and happiness are perceived differently by men and women. On the other hand, in-depth interviews with female managers helped us investigate what sort of problems women in managerial positions face, whether they suffer any sort of discrimination in their career journeys, and whether the conflict of roles they find themselves in has a negative impact on their careers, while also shedding light on the support mechanisms they use or the obstacles they face during their pursuit of managerial roles. We aimed at creating strategies to stamp out inequality in the workplace by studying examples of women who have successfully broken the glass ceiling.

The study was carried out in three stages using quantitative and qualitative research methods:

Quantitative research, the first phase, was conducted by ERA Research & Consultancy using an online questionnaire. This field work consisted of 235 middle and senior managers, 150 female and 85 male, answering the survey.

Qualitative research, the second phase of the research, was conducted by Galatasaray University Sociology Department Instructor Assoc. Prof. Feyza Ak Akyol. In this part of the research, face-to-face in-depth interviews containing open-ended questions were conducted with 10 female managers of companies of various sizes and from various sectors in Istanbul.

The third and final phase sought answers to the key questions identified during the initial two phases of the research. We tried to find the key to ‘breaking the glass ceiling’ in the workplace by conducting open face-to-face interviews with women and men sitting on company boards. The following discussed ‘women in the workplace’ with us, throwing light on issues and making valuable suggestions for improvement.

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