The "Academic Prize" in the inaugural Women Energizing Turkey Awards endowed by the Turkish Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources was given to Sabancı University Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences Member Selmiye Alkan Gürsel.
The Women Energizing Turkey Awards consisted of six prizes: Academic Prize, Professional Prize, Business Prize, Entrepreneur Prize, Exemplary Energy Policy Prize, and Special Jury Prize.
The winner of the Academic Prize was Sabancı University Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences Member Selmiye Alkan Gürsel from a shortlist that included Koç University Chemical and Biological Engineering Faculty Member Seda KESKİN AVCI and Ege University Energy Department Head Şule ERTEN ELA. Jury panelist Ferit Şahenk presented her prize to Gürsel.
The Women Energizing Turkey Awards were endowed under the auspices of Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Berat Albayrak and President of the Republic Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's wife Emine Erdoğan to raise awareness in the society about woman academics, professionals and entrepreneurs that serve the energy industry across Turkey.
Introductory remarks to the ceremony were delivered by Jury President and Sabancı University Founding Board of Trustees Chair Güler Sabancı.
We Are All Winners
Explaining that more than 200 submissions were received for this year's awards, Güler Sabancı said "We may be giving out prizes to specific people tonight, but the multitude of successful examples shows that we are all winners."
Güler Sabancı said that everyone had a duty to ensure that more women become academics, professionals or entrepreneurs in the energy sector in Turkey and expressed her pride in being the president of the jury panel for a program designed to encourage women, continuing:
"Energy is a business where gender inequality is at its worst, and not only in Turkey. According to the World Economic Forum, only 19% of the employees of the energy sector are women. One major reason is that there are no woman role models. That is why incentives such as this are of tremendous importance. This sector needs engineering as much as it does other competencies and interdisciplinary work. This award program can be a start in this direction. I wish that the Women Energizing Turkey Awards continue long into the future with more submissions year after year."