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Prysmian Group Turkey's Aysun Kalmik talks about her priorities for D&I Steering Committee

Prysmian Group Turkey's Aysun Kalmik talks about her priorities for D&I Steering Committee

More engagement with all is Aysun Kalmik's approach

Prysmian Group has named Prysmian Turkey Human Resources Director Aysun Kalmik to lead the company’s Diversity & Inclusion Steering Committee, which is responsible for promoting the Group’s policies and actions internally and supporting HR in designing specific training and development initiatives to support diversity.

“I want to sustain the ‘D&I is our DNA’ belief worldwide,” she said.

Kalmik takes over from VP Group Talent Acquisition, Talent Management & People Development chief Angela Amodio, who remains on the Committee. Prysmian Group aims to have up to 18% of its management comprised of women in 2022, up from 13% in 2020.

Through the managers on the Committee and by creating regional ambassadors for Diversity & Inclusion we can cascade the messages throughout the organization and reach everyone, she explained. My approach will be to engage with these ambassadors, the HR teams, COO’s and CEO of the regions, to spread the message.

The only way to achieve a worldwide result on D&I targets is to cascade the goals across the group region by region, she says. Building a good follow-up and tracking system beside the high level of commitment, awareness and ambition is key, and if you follow up the execution side with the same ambition as well, then you reach all those targets.

Kalmik’s deputy on the Committee will be Prasha Sarwate, Product Manager at Prysmian’s plant in Lincoln, Rhode Island, in a newly-created role.  Together, and with the support of Angela Amodio in Europe, Committee leadership has deep knowledge of cultural and workplace norms in diverse geographical areas.

The 20-member Committee brings together the group’s regional chiefs, leaders of business units; Chief Sustainability Officer Cristina Bifulco; Senior VP, Chief R&D Officer Srini Siripurapu; and the group’s Chief HR Officer Fabrizio Rutschmann. The Committee will collaborate closely with the 12 “Local Sustainability Ambassadors” which are located in each region around the globe where the Group does business.

Kalmik, working under Prysmian Turkey CEO Cinzia Farisè, has been instrumental in making Prysmian Turkey a Diversity & Inclusion center of excellence for the company since 2019. Half of its Board of Directors is female, and so are 35% of white-collar employees and 25% of its senior managers. Prysmian Turkey’s achievement was recognized by the “Women Empowered Board of Directors” award by Sabancı University Corporate Governance Forum in 2020 during the “Turkey Women Directors Conference.”

Turkey’s geographic position as “not fully from Europe and not from the Middle East” but also the diverse culture in the country has shaped her professional experience, says Aysun, along with the fact that families in the eastern and central parts of Turkey define women’s roles in a more traditional way. In these places, the belief is that “a woman’s place is at home, or working in the field, or raising children.”

I feel lucky to have been raised in Istanbul by a high educated and modern family. But seeing the experience of friends, or colleagues, or different types of families, made me believe I wanted to do something about women in terms of their rights and opportunities by focusing on gender equality from different backgrounds, different cultures, different nationalities, different generations she said. So, after my Bachelor Degree in Economics, I have choosen the People Management and being in HR gave me the chance to create policies to support that equal opportunity, to build performance systems, to build talent management systems.

Aysun believes that gender bias can be overcome by resilience, by raising the awareness and through support from structures and programs like the ones at Prysmian. With the right policies and practices, and strong commitment, companies can attract, grow and retain diverse talent.

We need to prove that women have a place in industry in both desk and non-desk jobs, she said. One of my dreams for Turkey and for all the other countries in Prysmian perimeter, is to start a project for hiring women for non-desk jobs, such as women forklift operators or production operators in shifts. I am working on that.


Aysun Kalmik

Prysmian Turkey Human Resources Director and Global Diversity & Inclusion Director