TÜBIYAD: The Turkish Information Executives and Academicians Association, a newly-established organization dedicated to 'Transforming Turkey into a Finance and Information Technology Center,' interviewed Mrs. Özlem Ergün, Managing Director of Boyden Istanbul office. The interview outlines the milestones in her life, her career goals, and her success story with Boyden. There is also a discussion of the future of information technology in Turkey, and how technology rapidly evolves and transforms the lives of individuals.
Who is Özlem Ergün?
Özlem was born in Odemiş, İzmir (Western Anatolia), into a very open-minded, intellectual family.
She attended American Girls College in İzmir, and spent a year in the US as an exchange student through AFS (American Field Service Scholarship Program). She subsequently studied Social Psychology at Bogazici University, where she also completed her Master's degree.
She then embarked on a successful career, starting in banking as a Management Trainee. One might say, however, that her career started at the early age of 11, when she served as an English tutor for junior high school students.
Now, even though executive search ("headhunting") is still a new concept for Turkey, Özlem is one of the key drivers of this business, working in the industry for the past 20 years. She is President of Boyden Turkey, which was established 14 years ago.
Ergun says, “This business needs to be done discreetly, so you may not be aware of our accomplishments.”
Can you tell us about your job?
We provide companies with executive managers, especially for the MNC which is planning to establish a local office in Istanbul. We also work with JV’s and big Turkish Companies with international growth targets.
How long have you been involved in executive search?
I have been in this sector for over 20 years.
How do you support women in business?
I value diversity! I give equal consideration to both genders. I don't believe in hiring someone just because they are male. In my opinion, competition should be free of gender, nationality, race, etc.
Should there be a quota?
Absolutely. Norway increased the number of female managers in politics after they established a quota.
What do you do to give women equal chances?
When compiling a short list of candidates to present to a client, I try to make sure there is an equal number of males and females.
To view the full interview in Turkish, click here