Koç University’s Gender Equality Coordinator, Dr. Behice Pehlivan, was a presenter at the highly esteemed WU Gender and Diversity Conference 2023, which took place in late March. Dr. Pehlivan’s presentation, titled “Challenges and successes of implementing a Gender Equality Plan (KUGEP) at a Turkish University,” focused on the challenges and opportunities faced in implementing Koç University’s Gender Equality Plan (KUGEP), as well as the general trends and characteristics of the higher education ecosystem.
Dr. Pehlivan highlighted that Koç University’s KUGEP seeks to promote gender equality and diversity in all aspects of the institution, from recruitment to policies. She emphasized the need to integrate KUGEP actions into existing structures and policies, and discussed significant challenges faced by the university, including the complexities of the academic community’s multidisciplinarity and diversity, as well as external shocks such as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Pehlivan also addressed the varying levels of awareness and understanding of gender equality and diversity issues, and the importance of fostering genuine commitment and buy-in across different fields.
Furthermore, Dr. Pehlivan shared success stories and strategies employed by Koç University in creating a sustainable culture of gender equality and diversity in higher education. Her insights were well-received by the conference attendees, who appreciated her expertise and contributions to the field. Koç University continues to be at the forefront of promoting gender equality and diversity, with the Gender Equality Plan serving as a critical component of the institution’s unwavering commitment to these values.