Güler Sabancı Is Listed Among The Top 5 Women In World Business

26.09.2009
  • THE LIST OF “TOP 50 WOMEN IN WORLD BUSINESS” COMPILED FOR THE FIRST TIME BY FINANCIAL TIMES IS MADE PUBLIC
  • GÜLER SABANCI IS LISTED AMONG THE TOP 5 WOMEN IN WORLD BUSINESS
  • ADVICES BY GÜLER SABANCI FOR ASPIRING EXECUTIVES: “IT IS IMPORTANT WHAT YOU ARE DOING, BUT IT IS MUCH MORE IMPORTANT WITH WHOM YOU ARE DOING IT.”
  • “DO NOT WORK FOR REWARDS AND TITLES.  ENJOY WHAT YOU ARE DOING, FOCUS ON IT AND TAKE WHAT YOU ARE DOING MORE SERIOUSLY THAN YOU TAKE YOURSELF.”

Guler_Sabancı_200x180.jpgGüler Sabancı, Chairman of Sabancı Holding, ranks the fifth in the list of “Top 50 Women in World Business” compiled for the first time by Financial Times.

One of the most effective economical publications of the world, the Financial Times states in the introductory part of the feature about the list that the global crisis turned a spotlight on male domination of the corporate world and underlines the following: “Just 3 per cent of Fortune 500 chief executives are women; and only 10 per cent of the board of directors of the largest companies in Europe are female.  The numbers are even lower in Asia.  This is all the more surprising given the substantial evidence that better gender balance has a positive impact on corporate performance.”

In the list compiled by the Financial Times, the selections were made by a jury composed of the leading representatives of the international business world.  The jury was formed of:

  • Dame Marjorie Scardino (Pearson),
  • Ferdinando ‘Nani’ Beccalli-Falco (GE International),
  • Dame Clara Furse (London Stock Exchange),
  • Rachel Kyte (International Finance Corporation),
  • Damien O’brien (Egon Zehnder),
  • Jacob Wallenberg (Investor Group),
  • Sari Baldauf (Nokia).

FT_logo_200x180.jpgThe Financial Times introduced Güler Sabancı who was ranked the fifth place in the list as Turkey’s queen of finance and cited the following details: “Operating in various fields ranging from banking to food and to tyre manufacture, the Sabancı Group was founded by Güler Sabancı’s grandfather.  Following his death, management of the company was assumed by her uncle, Sakip Sabancı.  Güler Sabancı became Chairman in 2004 upon death of her uncle. In the course of its history, the business has transformed itself from a small cotton production company to a billion-dollar conglomerate, with operations across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa and in North and South America.  Its consolidated revenue in 2008 was 15.3 billion dollars.”

-FINDING ANSWERS TOGETHER-

Güler Sabancı is an executive often relying on “search conferences”, a methodology used in business schools to generate ideas, find flaws in strategies and ways to fix them when faced with challenging situations in taking strategic decisions.  “I don’t have all the answers; but together, we can find all the answers”, she says.

Sabancı used this approach when founding Sabancı University in 1994, calling a search conference of academics and businessmen from around the world.  For four days, the 52 delegates discussed the challenges of creating a modern university for the next generations.

-FOCUSING ON RESULTS TO OVERCOME THE ISSUE OF GENDER-

Güler Sabancı has this advice for aspiring executives: “It is important what you are doing, but it is much more important with whom you are doing it”.  And she challenges the perception of Turkey as a country that holds back women, stating that “The issue of gender in business, it's not only in my country, it's all around the world.  If we don’t focus on gender but focus on the results, on the targets, on the projects, on the achievements, we will see it is less of an issue.”

-“TAKE WHAT YOU ARE DOING SERIOUSLY”-

The article also included Sabancı’s advices for the aspiring executives willing to make the climb in their careers: “First, have mentors.  Second, use those mentors to figure out what you want.  And third, don’t focus on the rewards and titles - you should be working.  To enjoy what you're doing, you need to focus on what you're doing.  Take what you are doing more seriously than you take yourself.”

While Indra Nooyi, chief executive of Pepsi Co, was ranked the first in the list of “Top 50 Women in World Business”, the other names ranked among the top 5 were Andrea Jung (Avon), Anne Lauvergeon (Areva) and Irene Rosenfeld (Kraft Foods).