Erinc has been the managing partner, together with her husband, of Taze&Kuru Food Inc since 2009. Taze&Kuru, which means Fresh&Dried in Turkish, is a company specializing in the production of healthy snacks, mainly made from dried fruit grown in Turkey. Erinc’s story is inspiring. A mother of three, she studied towards a BA and a Masters in Sociology, and always wanted to turn her passion for environmentally-friendly food production and manufacturing into a private business. Prior to opening up her company with her husband, she was the producer of a TV program about the everyday lives of ambassadors, and then vice-director of a private school in Ankara, where she also taught English and philosophy. “My company started as a hobby, which I luckily share with my husband. We both recognized the importance of food production for the development of our country, which we want to contribute to. But we want to play our part in sustainable production as well.”, she explains in her office in Ankara while we taste a delicious portion of dried fruit she offers us. As a woman and manager of a big incorporation, Erinc had to overcome some obstacles, some of which are still present today. In particular, she has to confront herself with a professional environment- that of agricultural production and food retail- mostly made of men and largely structured around a male-driven culture. “I often use my initials to sign emails I exchange with clients, and nobody ever thinks I am woman. They all assume I am a man.”, Erinc says.

She also feels that many clients and partners do not value her professional worth enough, and that she is often considered only as “the wife of the manager”, in the margin. Her hope is that the Turkish government will implement more maternity support schemes to encourage women who want to work in the private sector or open up their own businesses, like she did. She considers herself lucky however because she received considerable financial support from the Agricultural Ministry. In addition, Erinc has found in ANGIKAD (see page for infos and contact details) a precious source of support. “When we are all together and support each other, we find a space where we are represented for our value. Men sometimes think they own the world, but at ANGIKAD each and every woman is given voice and is listened.”, she explains.

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