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We need more female engineers

Today is March 8th, International Women’s Day.

After taking a look at last year’s blog post on International Women’s Day, I regret to see that the major problems I mentioned a year ago still continue, even in an augmented manner. Although society’s awareness on “violence against women” is increasing, we still have a long way to go. Today, half of our 70-million population are women. Naturally, it is impossible for a society to improve by developing only one half and neglecting the other. Especially if the neglected half is the most important actor in raising the children, i.e. our future, such improvement becomes even harder. Therefore, we need to take steps that truly create value and benefit. And we need to do it not only as individuals, but also as corporations.  

Sustainability is a key component that makes Siemens what it is. We attach great importance to benefiting from innovative ideas created through diverse cultures and mindsets in all of our corporate principles and operations. Today, in parallel with the extraordinary increase in the means of communication, we are facing more severe problems that need to be solved. One of the problems to be solved is finding ways to expand and reinforce women representation in the business world. We, as Siemens Turkey, are proud to have an active “Diversity Council” that shares the same goal. We have also been one of the first companies to sign the “Business Against Domestic Violence Policy Development and Implementation Guide” in Turkey. But is that enough? Of course not. We pay attention to every initiative in this regard and we will continue our efforts to create a difference.

On this year’s March 8th we wanted to make an announcement that is really meaningful to us. As a technology and engineering company, we attach great importance to increasing the number of female engineers. Therefore, we are launching a scholarship program with Turkish Education Foundation (TEV), with whom we have cooperated in various projects so far. Within the scope of this program, we make donations to meet year-long educational expenses of young women studying engineering to get a BSc or MSc degree. Success should be supported and we are determined to contribute to increasing the number of successful female engineers.

International Women’s Day is a celebration of women’s labor, freedom, and the value they generate for life itself. We are more than happy to celebrate this day with an announcement that focuses on social contribution. Happy International Women’s Day!

Proud to support ‘preschool education’ program for Syrian refugee children

Türkçe için tıklayınız (Suriyeli mülteci çocukların okul öncesi eğitim programını desteklemekten gururluyuz)

“We believe that it’s every child’s right to access preschool education” says Nalan Yalçın, General Manager of AÇEV, Mother Child Education Foundation.

AÇEV piloted an intensive pre-school program to provide critical early childhood education for Syrian refugee children in last summer. We as Siemens Turkey are proud to support such a valuable project of AÇEV. Following the program, an extensive monitoring and evaluation was conducted and the results revealed that kids benefited from this program showed a remarkable improvement which proved it ‘successful’. Some of this children have never seen their parents home back in Syria. Now they are even more ready for their ordinary school education.

This has been a valuable example to develop further education programs for refugee children. This video talks for itself!



Siemens Turkey nominated for ‘National Champion’ award on sustainability

Türkçe için tıklayınız (Siemens Türkiye, sürdürülebilirlik alanında ‘Ulusal Şampiyonluğa’ aday)

We have been proudly contributing to the development of our country with our history of 160 years and in Fall 2016 we published our Business to Society report that summarizes such contributions.

And now there is a new opportunity before us to reward the sustainability efforts of Turkey. As Siemens Turkey, by combining our sustainability strategy with our social responsibility initiatives, we made an application to the independent European Business Awards to become a “National Champion”. We completed the first phase of the process with success. Now if you would like to support Siemens Turkey at the public voting held individually in 34 countries, you may cast your vote until 1 March 2017, Wednesday.

Click here to vote.
For detailed information:

“In Turkey, for Turkey – Business to Society Report” released

Türkçe için tıklayınız (“Siemens Türkiye Topluma Katkı” raporu yayınlandı)

In Turkey, for Turkey Business to Society ReportAs Siemens, we are celebrating our 160th year in Turkey. Since 1856, we have not only been performing economic activities on these lands, but also contributing to the society in many different aspects.

The constantly-changing international business environment leads us towards a new mindset on growth and success. Companies now should have a vision of growth beyond traditional parameters such as increasing production and acquiring short-term financial revenue. They also need to consider the impact they create on the society and the environment. Our responsibility towards the society we live in is greater than ever.

Parameters that reveal the success of a company change constantly. The success of a business is no longer assessed by looking at its turnover or number of factories. To talk about real success, we need to look at the long-term contribution of a business to the country it operates in. Investors want to see the long-term contribution to make investments as well. Employees also want to see the real social contribution of their corporations to the world, the future, and children in a measurable way and to feel proud about it.

In accordance with this trend, I would like to share with you a project that we, as the Siemens Turkey family, are most excited about. In our 160th year in Turkey, we decided to measure Siemens’ contribution to Turkey’s sustainable development in terms of quality and quantity. Based upon our experience and know-how, we demonstrated the contributions that our operations in Turkey have made to the sustainable development goals and social life of Turkey.

We released the report “Siemens Turkey – Business to Society” in September 2016. I am planning to share some details of the report soon, but for the moment you may reach the PDF version of the report at Download the Business to Society Report! Our report clearly displays how much contribution a company can make to social development. We hope it will act as an example for other companies.


Remembrance with everlasting respect

Türkçe için tıklayınız (Saygı ve sevgiyle anıyoruz)

Time Magazine - Mustapha Kemal Pasha | Mar. 24, 1923

The first issue of US weekly Time dates back to March 3rd, 1923. And on the cover of the 4th issue dated March 24th, 1923 is Mustafa Kemal Atatürk with his fur cap and smiling face.

Within the cover story, Time editor wrote: “He  lifted his  people out of a slough of servile submission to alien authorities, bringing them to the  realization of their inherent qualities, to an independence of thought and action.”

Every time I look at this cover picture, I feel pride on behalf of my country and see the bright light of the future in the eyes of our founder. After 78 years, we still commemorate him with everlasting respect.

Exploring Berlin in a truly authentic manner with an electric carriage…

Türkçe için tıklayınız (Berlin’i ‘otantik’ bir biçimde ‘elektrikli araç’la keşfetmek mi?)

berlin_electriccar_03The title might sound a little weird to you at first. It can take quite a long time to define something as “authentic” so yes, you’re right. Electric carriages are new after all, aren’t they?

This year we celebrate the 200th birthday of our founder, Werner von Siemens; a true genius. But that wasn’t his only admirable characteristic: He was also a successful entrepreneur, similar to the start-up founders of today. He was the founder of a company that operates today in more than 200 countries with approximately 350 thousand employees. A visionary approach certainly plays an important role in his success. Pioneers such as Werner von Siemens transformed Berlin into an electric city (‘Electro polis’) in the first years of the 20th century, as early as 1900s. The second industrial revolution (today we are talking about the fourth) was triggered by the advent of electricity and Berlin became the European center of electrical industry. To give an example from our country, Siemens was the brand that introduced the first electric tram to İstanbul in 1914.

Many people don’t know of these facts. Well then, how many of you are aware of modern transportation systems being built not only upon “internal combustion engines”, but also on “electrical vehicles”? Specifically Berlin was a city on the move with electrical power. Egger-Lohner, manufacturer of Porsche P1 (a.k.a. C.2 Phaeton), the first electric vehicle by Porsche, manufactured electric vehicles in Charlottenburg together with various entrepreneurs, while Werner von Siemens lived his dream of “electromotor” in Halensee in 1882 – that was 134 years ago.

Today, we have items such as “the future of energy” and “autonomous vehicles” on our agenda. Although it took electric carriages more than a century to become commercially available, they are now becoming more and more widespread. The main motive is essentially “environmental sensitivity”. Should we really spend another 100 years waiting for a similar motive so that another visionary innovation such as “autonomous vehicles” can become widespread? It’s worth giving a thought.

“We believe in Turkey and we stand by you”

bayraksiyahkurdeleUnfortunately, these are times of severe terrorist attacks both in our country and the world. I believe it would be appropriate to remind you of a previous message: We should always act responsibly against such attacks and never lose our faith in humanity or our society. This is not only an individual, but also a corporate responsibility for each of us.

We, as Siemens Turkey, are devastated by the news of the terrorist attack at İstanbul Atatürk Airport and our headquarters also shares our grief. The letter of condolences sent by Siemens AG Managing Board to our employees is a concrete indicator of their feelings of solidarity. The underlying message reads as “We believe in Turkey and we stand by you”. As stated in this letter, we should never give up believing in the future of our country. Our future will be built upon faith, hard-work and goodwill.

I extend my heartfelt condolences to the victims’ families and hope all those injured will get well soon. May the souls of the victims rest in peace.

Founder of our freedom

Ataturk_07A Chinese proverb states that “Each generation will reap what the former generation has sown.”

Today, our journey forward has its roots in the seeds of freedom planted by a generation that carried out a long and difficult struggle.

Even after 77 years, we remember Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of our freedom and Republic, with everlasting respect, affection and longing.

Modus Vivendi (I Respect You)

Türkçe için tıklayınız (Modus Vivendi (Sana Saygı Duyuyorum))

When I look at the news highlights in the world and in Turkey, I remember the phrase “Modus Vivendi”, thinking that nobody can ever claim to be the only one who is right.

ModusVivendi_01Modus Vivendi is, in fact, a term used in diplomacy and international law. Basically, it means two countries or parties delaying a fundamental solution to a dispute and reaching a temporary accord; they agree not to agree.  But, when we translate this Latin phrase mot-a-mot, it reads as “way of living” (Modus: way, method, manner. Vivendi: of living). In other words, Modus Vivendi means to show respect to other people’s lifestyles and to meet on a common ground. It means “I respect you”. Respecting individuals’ fundamental rights and freedoms as well as their opinions is also essential for social peace.

We live in a very beautiful country, on fertile lands, within a mosaic of different cultures, and with a young and dynamic population. However, unfortunately, the pessimistic approach rooted in our culture sometimes veils these beauties. We focus on negative news and issues, thus ignoring positive sides. Plus, we quickly forget everything (especially the good things). Of course, the busy agenda of our country is a major reason for relying only upon our short-term memory. The agenda sometimes changes radically within a few days, news become outdated rapidly, and priority of issues to be resolved varies. Yet, despite all, it is important that we maintain our objective approach and see the good in bad. Focusing only on problems, approaching them subjectively and disregarding everybody and everything else will take us nowhere.

That is why Modus Vivendi is very important. Our opinions, beliefs or lifestyles may be completely different from others. But civilizations and democracy will grow thanks to individuals that respect others’ lifestyles. I believe that we should let young people -especially generations Y and Z- pioneer us because they know how important diversity is. In a world where customization matters in every area -from technology to medicine, education to industry- none of us needs to be exactly the same with the others. Our differences, dissidence, and diversity are very valuable. And we will become even richer as long as we respect differences. Modus Vivendi!

“3 Hints” Series: Companies and “Long Lifespan”

Türkçe için tıklayınız (3 İpucu Serisi: Şirketler ve “Uzun Ömür”)

In 2016 we will celebrate Siemens’s 160 years presence in Turkey. The company was founded in 1847 in Germany and only 9 years after its foundation, started to operate in then ‘the Ottoman Empire’. And we know that everything started with a dream and vision at the beginning of this company which now operates around the world. Of course every entrepreneur sets off with a dream: To see that the entity it creates succeeds and to legate the enterprise/company to the next generation (i.e. children) and even to the generations beyond that. In other words, to create an enterprise that has a long lifespan. At this point, a phrase by Werner von Siemens, the founder of Siemens AG, comes to my mind: “I won’t sell the future of my company for a short-term profit.” But then, is it that easy? What should be the fundamental concerns for establishing a company with a long lifespan? Certainly, there are a number of concerns to be handled. However, I would summarize the most critical ones in the three hints series:

  • Building trust in all stakeholders (customers, employees, shareholders, etc.)
  • Creating a “company spirit” and synchronizing it with the “zeitgeist” (spirit of the time)
  • Doing what nobody else has done

You may, of course, say “Easier said than done! What should we consider while running this marathon in order to reach the goal?” I believe that the meaning of “building trust” is very clear, but it is vital that this principle is always kept in mind as a priority: If your way of doing business does not establish trust in the people you serve (i.e. your customers), it would be hard to see the next few years, let alone decades. Therefore, first of all, “trust” should be built in the people and the environment that you operate in, even though this may sometimes mean self-sacrifice.

Now that we have a reliable company and a reliable brand, what is next? Your company and brand should have a “spirit” that can be felt both inside and outside and that is constantly fed. Be it your employees or customers, this “spirit” should be clearly seen and felt by everyone working with you. The way to feed and grow the spirit, to keep it alive is to synchronize it with the “zeitgeist” and innovations. Awareness of your fundamental competencies and knowing what you are really good at should always remain, but with no fear of change and improvement of it in line with the zeitgeist and requirements of the time.

One does not need to be a clairvoyant to see that the future belongs not to the followers but to the pioneers. Therefore, one last thing I would like to emphasize is the “need to achieve something that has not been done before – to develop a brand-new product or business model.” There is one thing that I cannot underline enough: Should we create revolutionary innovations or evolutionary ones? Innovation is built by people – you, me, an engineering or international relations undergraduate, a conscious farmer who wants to use his land more efficiently, etc. If you are doing something that has not been done before, it means you are at the doorstep of a “revolution”. Countless people who want to have access to your product, service, solution or idea will be waiting at that door to carry you to the future. And remember that an enterprise, brand or company that has built trust, created its own spirit and fulfilled the requirements of its time will still have a “long, long way” to go. We should never forget that the same applies to our country, not only to companies or brands. Therefore, let’s all continue to work for long-term success, without ever losing faith in our country. (