Demet Ikiler Explains What Inspired Her To Promote Inclusive and Sustainable Business at WPP Turkey

Turkey is a fast-developing market, where most corporates understand the need for sustainable growth. What matters to our clients matters to us: having the capabilities to help them deliver their sustainability agenda is essential.

The commitment to sustainability at WPP group-level has also inspired us. As the world’s largest communications group, our work has real power to change people’s beliefs and actions. In Turkey, we have introduced Mindshare’s Change the Brief approach across all our agencies, as a way to build sustainable thinking into our client work from the outset.

From a personal perspective, I have faced challenges as a woman working her way up from the bottom of the ladder, even in an industry where women are widely accepted. Only around a third of women work in Turkey. It has made me passionate about using my experience and influence to help other women succeed in their careers, by mentoring colleagues and advocating for women’s empowerment more broadly.

WPP is the only communications company to sign up to the Turkish Government’s gender equality in workplace commitment. As well as mentoring, we provide a female-friendly working environment with practical support such as childcare; efforts that our largest client recognised with an award. We are also working hard to support other disadvantaged groups, including the LGBT community, people with disabilities, and two groups that are particularly relevant in Turkey: refugees and unemployed youth.

I believe we are truly setting the industry standard for inclusion and sustainable business in this country."

Demet Ikiler Country Manager, WPP Turkey and EMEA CEO of GroupM

I believe we are truly setting the industry standard for inclusion and sustainable business in this country. We are the only communications company in Turkey signed up to the UN Global Compact, and in May 2019 I joined the local UNGC board, with responsibility for diversity and inclusion. We continue to carry out pro bono work in support of UN Women, and to support the Unstereotype Alliance to eradicate harmful gender stereotypes from advertising and media content.

Our industry has a responsibility to use its power for good – to influence minds and change behaviour. The environmental crisis is already here and the world needs action. We cannot wait for others: it is up to us to lead the way.

Read the full WPP Sustainability Report here.

Our Strategy In Action

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