The Capital Markets Board of Turkey (CMBT) has called a ruling in 2012 for listed companies to have 1/3 of their board members independent. In addition, a change in the CMBT’s Corporate Governance Principles requested the listed companies to include at least one woman on their boards based on the ‘’comply or explain’’ approach. Unfortunately, the expansion of boards due to the independence requirement caused the ratio of women in listed companies to decrease to 11.7 % in 2013 from 11.5 % in 2012.





Sabancı University (SU), with the financial endorsement of the General Consulate of Sweden in Turkey and strategic partnership with Egon Zehnder International Turkey, has initiated the “Independent Women Directors (IWD)” project.

"The project aims to help companies to give priority to women when nominating independent directors and hence help them to realize both mandates at the same time."

Within the framework of the IWD project, an inventory of women who are board ready will be developed alongside a methodology to be used in matching companies and board-ready women. This inventory will be shared with interested companies and three of them that commit to giving priority to women for independent director roles will be identified as pilot companies to benefit from a comprehensive matching service at no cost.



Companies can achieve the following results by including female members on their boards of directors:


  • Increasing the decision quality and company performance with the number of independent female members on the board of directors.
  • To increase the quality of decisions by ensuring the balance between men and women on the boards of directors.
  • In order for the Board of Directors to function more effectively, it is composed of members with different views and perspectives.
  • Ensuring Compliance with SPK, Corporate Governance Principles
  • Balancing the tendency to take risks in companies
  • Increasing social responsibility and environmental care
  • Strengthening the element of independence