The IE Women’s Week was led with a number of events ranging from informative to interactive sessions. The week started with its fourth annual Women in Leadership Conference, with this year’s theme Leading Forward. The half-day conference brought together an unprecedented number of students, alumni, faculty, and professionals from across the globe to discuss some of the most important issues affecting women in the workplace and in their personal lives.
During the IE Women in Business Conference, held on March 2nd, Diana Muñoz, Senior Vice President of Global Cross-Border Business Development at Mastercard, shared with us her expert opinion on the importance of women leading forward to drive change through education, empowerment and equality, building a better future for all.
Many things have changed in the fight for gender equality since the expression ‘to break the glass ceiling’ was coined in 1978. However, in Diana’s opinion, there is something that stands and has remained relevant over time: the importance of leadership to accelerate the process of achieving real equality.
We have already gone far, but it is not enough. According to the World Economic Forum, if we continue at this pace, it would still take us centuries to achieve complete gender equality. As Diana points out, we cannot wait for that, we don’t have centuries to spare. Involving women in the workforce is urgent and non-negotiable, particularly in the technology field, as it is only by engaging women that we can keep up with the innovation and growth of the past decades.
In this context, Diana feels very lucky to be able to work in a company whose values she shares. “The world has been designed without women in mind”, she says. “For us in Mastercard, leading forward means changing this world, shaping it to be something different. We aim to encourage women to get the visibility they haven’t had as consumers, as leaders and as innovators”.
In fact, Mastercard’s efforts towards diversity and gender equality have taken the company to the 2nd position of Fortune’s Changing the world ranking. “We believe that being part of the financial system allows women from all over the world to become visible”, says Diana.
This is why Mastercard, together with its partners, has developed 70 different products that specifically address women’s needs. In this line, the company also ensures that all the data used within their Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning platforms is representative of women. “We are trying to include and take into account women in everything we do”, mentions Diana.
This also means supporting women in leadership positions within the company. For Diana, Mastercard’s General Manager for Spain Paloma Real is a great example. “Our CEO, Ajaypal Singh Banga, has a strong commitment towards pay equality within the company”, she adds with pride.
Mastercard’s commitment with changing the world also involves thinking about the future. They do so by trying to instill a passion for STEM in young girls. Through their “Girls for Tech” program, by 2025 Mastercard aims to teach 1 million girls about AI, machine learning and the importance of mathematics and science.
In Mastercard, they believe in doing well by doing good, which is why inclusion is at the core of the company’s DNA, says Diana. “Only by embracing the power of diversity can we unlock ideas that are powerful enough to change the world”, she concludes.