We believe everyone should feel free to be themselves at work, which is why we’re powering an internal movement of belonging. To us, a movement is the collective drive to achieve a set of shared goals in pursuit of an ambitious vision. Movements don’t happen overnight. And they don’t happen alone. Movements require the organization of many people working together toward a shared goal.
Read his story
Gokhan explores the challenges of changing mindsets with VF as part of Sustainable Operations.
I’m responsible for Sustainable Operations activities in EMEA. There are lots of responsible sourcing projects being implemented in the region. I work closely with our suppliers to make sure they are properly implemented and understood. Our aim is to help the workers and communities within our supply chain to have better working and living conditions, as well as reducing the impact we have on our environment. I believe the improvements achieved by our suppliers through participation in these programs encourage them to move forward and take action to create their own projects even before we ask for it. It’s an amazing chain reaction.
There have been many challenges, but the greatest has been changing the mindset of people. I work with many suppliers from various countries. But many of our current responsible sourcing programs were not present in our region as little as five years ago. There has been a significant change in the recent years regarding VF’s expectations from suppliers. Of course, change is always met with resistance – especially from the top management level of our suppliers. And our success depends on our suppliers’ success and cooperation. To make them successful, we need to help them align with VF’s strategies and goals in terms of sustainability and responsibility. Key to this is acting with empathy. Understanding their own challenges, thoughts, and goals, and guiding them through their sustainability journey in a collaborative way. I always try to set a clear, transparent and strong communications channel with them.
“A Firm Foothold - drawing on your strengths and exceeding expectations”. Because I believe that my strong background in the field serves as a foundation for my current role, and this helps me be successful in all my projects. I am aware of my strengths, and because of the confident foothold I have, I am always looking to take the next step and push forward to achieve more.
Passion drives my self-motivation at work. You cannot be successful if you do not believe in what you are doing. Thinking about our ultimate purpose and the impact of our work on the people and planet gives me the motivation that I need every day.
I am generally a realistic person. I don't dream about something which is not possible to achieve. But I am also continuously analyzing my strengths, weaknesses, and potential. So, my advice would be to be aware of yourself and listen to yourself. Be aware of what you can do, what you should improve about yourself, what you want to accomplish. Listen and get feedback from others. A friendly advice or constructive feedback from a trusted person is priceless.