Saniye Gülser Corat

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Saniye Gülser Corat
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CitizenshipUnited States
Alma mater
  • Carleton University
  • Harvard Business School
  • Development executive at UNESCO
  • Founder
  • CEO
Known forServed as UNESCO’s Director for Gender Equality

Saniye Gülser Corat is a Senior international development executive at UNESCO since 2004, founder and CEO of an international development consulting company and recognised academic. Thought leader in sustainable and transformative change with a focus on gender equality. Fluent in cultural differences and diversity, having lived in Turkey, Belgium, Canada and France while managing projects in over 30 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, South and Southeast Asia. Expertise in strategic thinking, governance, public-private partnerships and government relations. Passionate about addressing gender bias in frontier technologies, particularly AI; responsible investment with impact; and exploring innovative, sustainable solutions to socio-economic issues in the developing world. Broad experience of advisory work and oversight in the public sector and on nonprofit boards; now looking to share her knowledge and experience in non-executive corporate board service.

S. Gülser Corat has served as UNESCO’s Director for Gender Equality[1][2] since September 2004. She brought about fundamental cultural change in this UN agency with over 2000 staff in Headquarters and 54 offices around the globe and a $600 million budget. She negotiated and secured unanimous vote by 195 Member States to designate gender equality a global priority for the organization in 2007 and championed diversity at senior levels - the organization reached gender parity in 2017 from a starting point of 9% in 2004. She launched special campaigns and programmes for girls’ education in STEM, digital skills, safety of women journalists, women in science, women and sports. She initiated and managed research, shedding light on emerging issues such as gender bias in voice assistants powered by AI that culminated in the publication of the report I’d Blush if I Could[3] in March 2019. This report sparked a global conversation with the technology sector through her keynote address at the largest global meeting of the technology sector, the Web Summit[4], in 2019[5] and interviews with more than 600 media outlets around the globe - including the BBC,[6] CNN,[7] CBS,[8] ABC,[9] NYT,[10] The Guardian,[11] Forbes,[12] Time.[13]

Prior to joining UNESCO, Gülser founded and managed a global development consulting company based in Canada, managing up to USD 50 million investments in developing economies and a global portfolio of clients in over 30 countries with teams of over 150 staff. As the CEO of the company, she provided thought leadership on development issues with different stakeholders while championing the needs of the target groups and building long-term relationships based on mutual understanding and trust. In parallel, she led research and taught at graduate level in Belgium and Canada.

Gülser is a TED[14] and international keynote speaker[5][15][16][17][18][19][20]. She serves on the boards of Women’s Leadership Academy[21] (China), International Advisory Committee for Diversity Promotion[22], Kobe University (Japan), UPenn Law School Global Women’s Leadership Project[23] (USA), and Exponent, a global gender equality incubator.


She holds graduate degrees from Carleton University, Canada and College of Europe, Belgium and Executive Education certificates from Harvard Kennedy School and Harvard Business School.


  1. "Priority Gender Equality". UNESCO. Retrieved 1 January 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  2. "Division for Gender Equality". UNESCO. Retrieved 21 July 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  3. I'd Blush If I Could. Paris: UNESCO. 2019.
  4. "Web Summit - Meet our 2019 DeepTech Speakers". Retrieved 21 July 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Is Siri Sexist". Web Summit. 22 November 2019.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  6. Wakefield, Jane (21 May 2019). "Female-voice AI reinforces bias, says UN report". BBC.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  7. Picheta, Rob (22 May 2019). "Hey Siri, stop perpetuating sexist stereotypes, UN says". CNN.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  8. Falk, Pamela (23 May 2019). "Is it time for Alexa and Siri to have a "MeToo moment"?". CBS News.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  9. The Associate Press (22 May 2019). "Is Siri sexist? UN cautions against biased voice assistants". ABC News.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  10. Specia, Megan (22 May 2019). "Siri and Alexa Reinforce Gender Bias, U.N. Finds". NY Times.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  11. Rawlinson, Kevin (22 May 2019). "Digital assistants like Siri and Alexa entrench gender biases, says UN". The Guardian.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  12. Fatemi, Falon (17 February 2020). "Bridging The Gender Gap In AI". Forbes.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  13. Gajanan, Mahita (22 May 2019). "AI Voice Assistants Reinforce Gender Biases, U.N. Report Says". Time.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  14. Corat, Saniye Gülser (25 February 2015). "Closing the gender gap". TEDxHECParis.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  15. GIZ (7 November 2019). "Saniye Gülser Corat on Gender Equality | Launch of the GIZ techDetector". Youtube.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  16. "On the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, Morgan Martinez and Bruno Zanobia interview Saniye Gülser Corat, UNESCO's Director for Gender Equality". Facebook/UNESCO. 23 November 2018.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  17. "Global Women Leaders: Gulser Corat". Youtube/University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School. 16 November 2016.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  18. "GenderInSITE Interviews: Saniye Gülser Corat on the importance of gender equality in science". Youtube/GenderInSITE. 19 July 2016.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  19. Corat, S. Gülser (3 November 2015). "Why empowerment and equality for women is a critical international meetings industry issue".{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  20. "Women's empowerment and sustainable development". Youtube/IPPF. 9 February 2012.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  21. "UNESCO and Women Leadership Academy (China) sign a Letter of Cooperation to promote gender equality and women's leadership". UNESCO. 21 October 2015.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  22. "Gender Equality and Diversity at Kobe University". UNESCO. 27 May 2019.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  23. Penn Law (10 July 2017). "Global Women's Leadership Project".{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)

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