Sabancı Holding Board of Directors Chairperson Güler Sabancı Awarded by International Women’s Solidarity Association


Sabancı Holding Board of Directors Chairperson Güler Sabancı was given the “Powerful Leader Empowering Our Women” award by the International Women’s Solidarity Association. The association stated that the award was given on account of Sabancı’s leadership and her efforts in providing women opportunities for education, employment, empowerment and progress.

Güler Sabancı received the award during a ceremony which was attended by Neval Güler, the spouse of Ministry of Interior Muammer Güler, Yüksel Sabancı, Türkan Sabancı, Emine Erdem and the members of the association. The award was presented by Şima Sunder, the Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Association’s İstanbul Branch.

Güler Sabancı made a speech during the ceremony in which she said, “Some women played very important roles in my life. I took my first management lesson from Sadıka Sabancı, my paternal grandmother, who had six sons, six brides and sixteen grandchildren. You cannot realize certain things when you are actually learning them. When you have to do things yourself, you realize all the things you have learned. The second important woman is my maternal grandmother, Rukiye Tarcan. She was a student of Halide Edip. She went to boarding school in Beirut, and was one of the first women teachers of Turkey. I learned the value of education and knowledge. Other women who influenced me were my mother, Yüksel Sabancı and aunt Türkan Sabancı. Both of them taught me the importance of patience, of struggling, of not surrendering, of overcoming obstacles and of smiling at all times. One of their common characteristics was that they wanted me and my cousins Sevil and Dilek to enjoy better conditions than those they had, and that they did not restrict us. They always supported our education. Therefore, I believe that this is a very significant position. I thank them for their contributions to my arrival at this point.

I took the flag from Mr. Sakıp at a very high point. Therefore, it was not easy to keep it there, at the summit. But we endeavored to achieve this with my friends and my team.

Next year Sabancı Foundation will be celebrating its 40th anniversary. Therefore, I can say that there is a tradition of foundation in our family. Having born in such a family is my greatest advantage. When I took the flag in 2004, we reviewed the activities of the Foundation as well. As in everything, one cannot progress without searching for the best. Being satisfied and content with what is being done does not take us any further. Our foundation established the first girls dormitory. Therefore, women and girls are a part of our culture. When we laid out the Foundation’s strategy, we determined the human rights of women and girls as the first step. The main issue is assimilating equality, and the human rights of women and girls. We decided to focus on this subject as a Foundation. Our second subject matter is the disabled, and the third is the youth. Sabancı Foundation is where these three rings come together.

As for women, we started the ball rolling for the establishment of Flying Broom Association. This organization is active about the prevention of girls from early marriage. We have carried this matter to international platform.

Şima Sunder, the Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Association’s İstanbul Branch said, “The main objective of the International Women’s Solidarity Association is to support wronged women to become powerful, successful, and poised individuals in all areas of life. In this context, we have commenced our preliminary research regarding our “micro-credit” project. As our studies are underway, we have initiated a “recognition award” to be given once a year which we are planning to make a tradition. With this award, we wanted to present our feelings of appreciation to a leader who we believed that she had become a “role model” for the society with her superior and model activities. We unanimously elected Ms. Güler Sabancı on account of the educational and employment opportunities she offers to our women at the highest level possible.”