About Us

Coorporate Governance Forum of Turkey

Corporate Governance Forum of Turkey (CGFT) has been founded on 1st of March 2003 as a joint initiative of Turkish Industrialists’ and Businessmen’s Association (TUSIAD) and Sabancı University and undertook a work program as such until the end of 2004. Most important objective of the work program was to create awareness on the importance of Corporate Governance – an objective largely achieved thanks to the local and international developments, efforts of the Forum and restructuring reforms in the financial sector. Forum has acknowledged that the best way to contribute to the reform process was to focus on knowledge creation through scientific research. Today, CGFT continues its’ work as an interdisciplinary academic initiative hosted by the Faculty of Management at Sabancı University.

Forum is aware of the role of Corporate Governance in economic development and social welfare. Forum’s mission is to contribute to the improvement of corporate governance framework and practices through scientific research, support the policy development process by active engagement, encourage and facilitate the dialogue between academicians and practitioners, and disseminate research.

30 Percent Club Turkey

On March 22, 2017 Borsa Istanbul (BIST) hosted the launch of the 30% Club’s Turkey Chapter as a business led campaign, aimed at improving corporate boards’ gender diversity. The founding members of the 30% Club Turkey represent most of Turkey’s powerful business groups that collectively dominate the stock market.

The 30% Club in Turkey is a spin off from the Independent Women Directors Project, that was initated by Sabancı University’s Corporate Governance Forum when the Capital Markets Board of Turkey amended its Corporate Governance Guidelines in 2012, recommending that companies set a target level of no less than 25% women on their boards. The Forum, which maintains a database of female talent and tracks improvement in BIST boards’ gender diversity, facilitates and coordinates the 30% Club Turkey campaign.

The Steering Commitee of the 30% Club Turkey has the following targets:

  • 30% participation of women in the boards of BIST Star Market and Main Market companies by 2025 (representing an increase of 109% from 14.3% in 2016)
  • 30% women in the top executive team (representing an increase of 100% from 15% in 2016)
  • Zero all male boards in BIST 100 compaines by 2025 (targeting 38 companies with all male boards as of 2016) ,

These targets corresponds to approximately a three-fold increase in the number of professional women on corporate boards from the current level considering that half of the women sitting on corparate boards today are members of controlling shareholder families.

Independent Women Directors Turkey

The Capital Markets Board of Turkey (CMBT) has called a rulling 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 in their boards based on ‘’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 General Consulate of Sweden in Turkey and in 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 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 give priority to women for independent director roles will be identified as pilot companies to benefit from a comprehensive matching service at no cost.