Creation of a gender equality unit/office - provided with annual financial and human resources - acting also, as an in-house expert focal point and an advisory source to departments

Main aim of the action

The main objective of this action is to form a Gender Equality Unit (GE Unit) to conduct the process of GEP implementation at OzU and its desired impact is the ensuring of the institutionalization and sustainability of gender equality policies and practices at the university.

This action is interlinked with two other actions: “Creation of a figure/role of gender and diversity coordinator that refers to top decision bodies” and “Encouragement to top level managers and key actors to attend gender equality seminars and training” as the recruited Gender Equality Expert collaborates with the GE Unit to achieve the same goal and the Academic Managers are key to ensure the effective working of the Unit.


The direct target group of this action was defined as “All the academic and administrative units and staff as well as students at all levels.”

In April 2017, OzU formed a Sustainable Development Forum (SDF) with TUSIAD, the largest organization of business people and industrialists in Turkey. As part of this forum, 4 working clusters have been formed at OzU and social equality has been identified as the title of one of these working groups. At first, we discussed with the university administration whether it would help the GEP implementation to relate the GE Unit with this working group. However, after a meticulous planning process, the GE Unit has been created independently of the SDF and as a body directly linked to the Rector’s Office.

Moreover, a Unit Directive has been written in collaboration with the OzU National Higher Education Council Coordination Unit and this directive has been approved by the Directives Commission of the university. The GEP has been appended to the directive as a university policy document and both of these documents have been submitted to the University Senate for the final official approval.


Figuring out the best functional structure for the GE Unit was a challenge. This process lasted longer than expected as it necessitated a series of meetings with the university administration to determine how to situate the GE Unit within the larger structure of the university. Since it was formed for the first time, significant amount of effort went into drafting the unit’s directive and making the GEP structurally part of the university’s institutional policies. In this regard, this action requires familiarity with a university’s overall administrative structure and its working.

Copying strategies

Implementation has been achieved through sustained communication and discussion with the relevant university bodies such as the Rectorate and the National Higher Education Council Coordination Unit. Understanding the administrative structure and internal regulations of the institution played a vital role in conceiving and writing the directive of the GE Unit.
The fact that OzU has selected gender equality as one of its main areas for THE Social Impact ratings has significantly contributed to the finalization of this action. Moreover, the action “Encouragement to top level managers and key actors to attend gender equality seminars and training,” which we realized simultaneously with the forming of the GE Unit, has helped us overcome this challenge.


The GE Unit has been decided to have the following composition: Representatives from 8 Academic Units (6 Faculties and 2 Schools); the Gender Equality Expert; 1 representative from the Human Resources Unit; 1 representative from administrative units; and 2 representatives from students’ organizations. This composition includes all the internal stakeholders and units of OzU, which is the key to ensuring that the GEP has been espoused by all and its implementation as well as sustainability will be overseen by all university members.

Key area

The governance bodies, key actors and decision-makers

Type of action

Creation of structures


Özyeğin Üniversitesi (OZU)
Higher education institution

Action level of implementation

Departments, staff, students