Honoring Women Who Make a Difference

Monday 30th January 2017

GBA banks work in more than 150 countries worldwide furthering women’s economic empowerment. As part of their holistic effort to serve women customers well, several members offer women in their regions recognition via awards programs. Below we highlight three such programs.


Westpac: 100 Women of Influence

Celebrating their 5th year in 2016, the Westpac 100 Women of Influence awards identify and celebrate bold, energetic women who capture the spirit of progress, helping shape a vibrant, inclusive, economic and social future for Australia. The awards are given out to 100 women across 10 categories who, through their achievements and contribution, have had an impact within their relevant category. Winners are honored at a special dinner, and receive national media exposure. The categories are: Board/Management; Public Policy; Diversity; Business Enterprise; Young Leader; Global; Local and Regional; Innovation; Arts, Culture and Sport; and Social Enterprise and Not-For-Profit.

Meet the winners here.


BLC Bank: Brilliant Lebanese Awards: Woman Entrepreneur of the Year

BLC Bank Brilliant Lebanese Award Women Entrepreneur Zeina Khoury Daoud 2016As part of its Brilliant Lebanese Awards, which also had its 5th anniversary in 2016, BLC Bank of Lebanon gives out an annual Woman Entrepreneur of the Year award to a female business owner with a profitable business that has differentiated products or services, a sustainable and scalable business model and a commitment to social responsibility. Winners receive US$30,000, in addition to deep media exposure throughout Lebanon, training on marketing, and coaching and mentoring, which are afforded to all finalists.

This year’s winner, Zeina Khoury Daod, owns an organic farm that ships pesticide-, herbicide-, fertilizer- and additive-free fruits and vegetables to subscribers’ doorsteps daily. Le Potager Bio products are now sold throughout Lebanon as well as the Gulf Region. Lebanese media outlet Annahar reported that Zeina’s business saw an immediate jump thanks to the award.


Garanti Bank: Women Entrepreneurs Award

Sule Mene Garanti Women Entrepreneur Award 2016One of the longest-running awards programs among GBA members, Garanti’s Women Entrepreneurs Award had been around for a decade as of 2016. Today it is an extremely successful awards program, with 31,000 applicants for its most recent awards event, up from just 113 in its first year. For Garanti, the program is an opportunity to get greater exposure for women entrepreneurs in Turkey and encourage more women to start their own businesses.

“When we first started this contest, the ratio of women entrepreneurs of Turkey was only 5%. Right now the number is nearly twice that,” Garanti representatives noted. “Our task will not be completed until the percentage of women entrepreneurs reaches not 50%, but 51%.”

Seven women were honored at the last awards ceremony, with Mene Research founder Şule Mene winning one of the two top prizes of TL30,000 (almost US$8,000). Mene Research provides health research and development services in Turkey and throughout the region, with additional work done in the U.S. and Europe. Şule noted the part of her work she is most proud of is her company’s focus on “orphan drugs,” or drugs that may cure rare diseases and therefore are not as profitable. Learn more about Şule here.

The other prize went to Tülin Yazıcı of Dress Best Uniforms, who has a highly successful business that provides uniforms to international hotel chains, airlines, hospitals and other institutions across a wide geography covering Turkey, the Middle East, Africa, Europe and the Central Asian Republics. You can learn more about her here.

Visit the GBA’s Impact page to learn more about the women our members are supporting.