The Gender Equality Office (GEO) was established in 2022 as a hub to coordinate, develop and promote the gender equality efforts of Koç University (KU). GEO is also the main sponsor of the KU Gender Equality Plan (KUGEP) and the primary contact unit for all KU members and stakeholders such as students, staff, and alumni regarding gender equality issues.
GEO strives for sustainable institutionalization of gender equality in all aspects of the university and works towards this goal with tailored guidelines, training, and awareness-raising programs. In close partnership and collaboration with each academic and administrative unit at KU, the GEO is dedicated to strategic innovation for the advancement of gender equality in the institution while harnessing the energy created through various gender equality initiatives across the institution towards further progress in all aspects of equality.
GEO develops strategies, policies, and practices as effective instruments to address areas of improvement to nurture a campus climate characterized by gender equality.
The office is open to all KU members as well as external parties seeking information, advice, or collaboration opportunities on gender equality in higher education and beyond.
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To consolidate and further KU’s gender equality goals and initiatives, the President appointed a Gender Equality Plan Committee in March 2021 as a diverse group of academic and administrative employees dedicated to developing Koç University’s Gender Equality Plan.
The GEP Committee and Gender Equality Coordinator conducted an institution-wide gender assessment through 2021 and 2022. At the end of a comprehensive data-informed deliberative process, the KU Gender Equality Plan (KUGEP) was presented to and approved by the Academic Senate and the President on July 22, 2022.
KUGEP presents an overview of the current state of gender equality across the institution and detailed action plans to achieve further advancement. Detailed with corresponding responsible units and timeline, action items in KUGEP aim to build and strengthen institutional mechanisms working towards enhanced gender inclusivity via capacity building, training, awareness-raising, monitoring, and reporting.
It also documents how KU fulfills the Horizon Europe eligibility criteria as well as KU’s commitment to and alignment with the European Commission’s Gender Equality Strategy 2020-2025.
The Gender Equality Coordinator of the GEO is the prime contact point for the sustainable implementation of KUGEP action items. She supports and advises all units and relative stakeholders on gender equality matters in the institution; develops and launches collaborative initiatives for further innovative inclusiveness; and constantly monitors and reports progress achieved.
The Gender Equality Coordinator of the GEO continuously supports the gender equality efforts of KU and is a member of the KU Coordination Committee, Koç University Quality Commission, and the Academic Senate. She also takes part in the Board of Overseers annual assemblies. To provide consultation in all matters relating to Gender Equality, she also attends various assemblies of essential governing bodies of KU.
Behice Pehlivan is the Gender Equality Coordinator of Koç University. She received her B.Sc. degree in Industrial Engineering from Sabancı University. She earned master’s degrees from Sabancı University in Visual Communication Design, and from Central European University in Sociology and Social Anthropology. She completed her Ph.D. degree in Sociology at Northeastern University. Her research areas are gender studies and urban sociology. During her doctoral studies, she also earned a Graduate Certificate from the Graduate Consortium for Studies in Gender, Culture, Women, and Sexuality (GCWS), cross-registered with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She worked as a Teaching and Research Fellow at Northeastern University. She gained extensive experience in structural transformation and strategic innovation in higher education during her work as an Academic HR Partner at Sabancı University between 2016 and 2022. She developed and led various projects in faculty development, academic recruitment, innovation framework, and campus climate. She is passionate about equality and inclusion in higher education, and she continually works toward creating accessible and equitable environments of teaching, learning, and scientific discovery.
Office: Adm 105B
Tel: +90 212 338 0910