An interview with Furkan Karayel: CEO of Diversin.com
In her own words
My name is Furkan and as you may guess I am a women-in-tech. I am passionate about diversity and female founders in general, my original background is in software engineering. I am the Founder and CEO of Diversein.com, a global diversity and inclusion platform. I was recently honoured with “Diversity and Inclusion Role Model in Business” and “Trailblazer” Awards.
If you want to get something done give it to somebody busy hence I am the Dublin Chapter Lead for Sprinters.co, a global diverse female entrepreneurs organisation. Additionally, I am a very active speaker on the national and international events circuit focusing mainly on my journey into tech world as a woman.
Finally I relentlessly advocate and share my recommendations and observations on women in tech when it comes to general issues and the power of diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
TCM: How did you pick Ireland as a country of residence?
Furkan: I came to Ireland as an Erasmus student from Istanbul in 2005. Ireland was getting popular in the software industry in those Celtic Tiger years. As a software engineering student, it was one of the best options for me to study and live here. Days after my graduation, I started my first job in Ericsson Athlone and made Ireland home. Additionally, language and Irish hospitality played a big role for me to settle down here as well.
TCM: If I say Bias what do you say?
Furkan: I would say, we are not born with it but we were taught how to do it from our parents, friends, environment and media. In Diversein’s launch event, we asked our audiences if they had been subject to bias at their work. The response was 77% YES.(in the attachment).
We cannot control other’s mind and clear out all bias they built in all these years (technically speaking, not yet 🙂 ) What we can do is educate public, build awareness and be a good role model yourself.
TCM: Let me ask you a very direct question? Is it harder for a woman with a Muslim background to be successful in a relatively conservative country?
Furkan: Let me give you an example. I have never seen a successful Muslim woman with a headscarf and different ethnicity in the next level either in my college life or corporate career in Ireland. However, I have seen successful Muslim men. Yes, being a woman is always more challenging in many ways even in the western world, especially in the male-dominated tech world. If we women don’t underestimate our capabilities, don’t wait for others to value our work and we make our own decisions, then we naturally become more successful.
TCM: What are the achievements you are the most proud of?
Furkan: I was humbled to receive 2 awards this year. “Trailblazer” and “Diversity and Inclusion Role Model in Business” awards. It is a wonderful feeling that people you don’t know recognise your work and honour you. In addition to this, I achieved one of my lifetime goals this year, which was Diversein’s New York Event with Diversity Leaders from prestigious companies like The Economic magazine, Mercer and more on the 51st floor, 360-degree views of New York City.
TCM: What is the question you would have liked me to ask you and why?
Furkan: You could ask me whom do I get inspired the most. My answer is Arianna Huffington. Not only because of her achievements with Huffington Post but also she connects workplace wellbeing with wisdom, wonder and giving pillars. These are the next generations success metrics along diversity and inclusion; and future workplaces will thrive accordingly.
Interview & Editing by Pascal Derrien on behalf of Talent Cloud Media