24 Nov 2020

Istanbul Technical University graduate most powerful women CEO’s shared their experiences

“Women engineers make a difference with their equipment”

News: İTÜ Media and Communication Office

News: İTÜ Media and Communication Office

Istanbul Technical University brought together İTÜ Engineering Faculty graduate CEO’s who are in “Turkey’s Most Powerful Women CEO’s” list. Philip Morris Sabancı General Manager Filiz Yavuz Diren, Adel KalemcilikGeneral ManagerEvrim Hizaler, and Manpower Group Turkey General ManagerFeyza Narlı joined the meeting which was online. In the meeting moderated byProf. Dr. Hatice Camgöz Akdağ, İTÜ graduate engineers who entered the most powerful women CEO list shared their experiences and insights with students.

Istanbul Technical University graduate women who are in Turkey’s 50 Powerful Women CEO’s list came together as part of “İTÜ Alumni Talks”. The successful women who never give up and always walk with confidence in their life journeys inspired young people from İTÜ with their stories.

“You can do it, too”

Philip Morris Sabancı General Manager Filiz Yavuz Diren who entered “Turkey’s Most Powerful Women CEO’s” list at the first place was the first to speak. In her talk, Diren emphasized her engineering education: “Engineering education contains many equipments we need in business life such as being multifaceted, encouraging questioning, accommodating design and optimization skills, and developing competencies such as making risk analysis.” Diren emphasized that women engineers should be encouraged and said, “We know very well that engineering branches, coding, and data sciences will shape the future. Women make a difference in all areas of life, in business and academic worlds. Young women engineers who have completed their educations in various engineering fields and improved themselves will shape the future. I participate in voluntary mentor programs so that they can overcome the difficulties they will encounter on the tough roads of business life more easily. I care aboutencouraging young women to have self-confidence, to be demanding and curious to improve themselves.”

“Improve your quality and competency” 

Adel Kalemcilik General Manager Evrim Hizaler, who is at the 34thplace of the list, emphasized the importance of quality and competency on the way to success and said, “As in other areas of life, gender should not be a determinant in career. The precondition for success at the workplace is improving one’s quality and competencies. I think that having women in business life is a must for a just and developed society and that their employment rate will increase with the recognition of women’s success in senior management.”

“Women should participate more in management”

Manpower Group Turkey General Manager Feyza Narlı is the name from İTÜ who entered the list at the 44thplace. In her speech, Narlı said that with their diverse perspectives and various disciplines, women’s participating more in management brings competitive advantage to the country’s employment, economy and to companies. Narlı said, “I think that when innovation can be managed successfully, projects with high added value will be realized so that it will encourage labor markets to grow.” 

Feyza Narlı proceeded as follows: “In the near future, flexibility, efficiency and sustainability will become even more important and in this new period institutions will focus more on agile workforce models. In order to increase women’s employment, first of all the issue of equal opportunity should be adopted by institutions starting from the top. Things to be done in institutions for equal opportunity should not be the responsibility of only human resources but equal opportunity culture should be embraced from the top to the bottom, all relevant people should take responsibility and do their share for gender equality.”

Filiz Yavuz Diren (Philip Morris/Sabancı General Manager)

Filiz Yavuz Diren is Philip Morris/Sabancı’s first woman general manager and one of Philip Morris International’s top women executives worldwide. Diren also holds the title of the company’s first woman sales director. She drew attention by establishing a digital commercial model while at this position. The system she established while leading a large scale digital transformation provided efficiency and effectiveness in commercial operations. Diren has a career that spans over twenty years at Philip Morris/Sabancı, where she had also served in strategic planning, corporate affairs and finance departments. 

Diren, who is a graduate of Istanbul Technical University Industrial Engineering Department, also has an MBA degree from University of Hartford. Diren works actively in non-governmental organizations; she is in the Board of Directors of The Turkey-U.S. Business Council (TAİK) and Tobacco Manufacturers Association, and plays an active role in Catalyst European Region Advisory Board and leading business associations of Turkey.

Evrim Hizaler (Adel KalemcilikGeneral Manager)

Evrim Hizaler started her working life at Efes Turkey as a marketing specialist, and after working at various marketing departments of the company, served as trade marketing director and marketing director mainly for foreign markets at Efes Headquarters. In 2010, she was appointed as marketing director of Efes Russia and lived in Russia until April 2012. Since April 1, 2012, she has been in the position of General Manager of Adel Kalemcilik. Hizaler is the first Turkish executive elected as the president of EPMA (European Pencil Manufacturer's Association), and is also a member and mentee of Women on Board Association Turkey (YKKD) and serves as Deputy Chairman of Wood Employers Union.

Evrim Hizaler graduated from Istanbul Technical University Management Engineering Department in 1997 and received Executive MBA degree from Sabanci University in 2004.

Feyza Narlı (Manpower Group Turkey General Manager)

After serving at Oracle Turkey as Digital and CX Solutions Country Leader, in 2018 Feyza Narlı became the General Manager of next generation workforce solutions company Manpower Group Turkey that includes Manpower and Experis brands.

Feyza Narlı, who has her undergraduate degree from Istanbul Technical University Industrial Engineering Department and her master’s degree from İTÜ Management Engineering, is the General Manager of Manpower Group Turkey, member of the Board of Directors of İTÜ Alumni Association, member of International Investors Association (YASED), member of Turkish Industry and Business Association (TÜSİAD), member of Women in Technology Association (Wtech), and member of Lead Network Turkey.


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