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.
Picture by Lúa Otero.
The IE Women’s Week opened its events highlighting how the women’s movement and fight is a global one and procures an open mind and door to all those who want to join. Before diving into a panel discussion, IE University’s Vice President Diego del Alcázar Benjumea held a remote discussion with Cecilia Xu, who spoke to us from China. She urged us that doing business in China not only means respecting the different ways of life and culture, but also respecting their reverence towards gender equality.
The conference continued with a valuable panel discussion with IE professionals: Professor and researcher Patricia Gabaldón, Vice President for Marketing and Global Recruitment Mar Hurtado de Mendoza, and Associate Dean of the IMBA and Tech MBA Programmes José Esteves. The panel was moderated by IE’s Director of the Centre for Diversity Celia de Anca.
Patricia emphasised how gender has not been addressed equally in academic research, and how a diverse research group adds value to the range of topics researched. Therefore, she launched the “Women in Research” Group, aiming to promote women attaining tenure. She called attention to how women tend to go through this process individualistically and wanted to create a support group that navigates the process of tenure evaluation collectively. Already, 60% of female faculty in the tenure process have signed up to the Women’s group, just two weeks after launching the project.
Mar stressed the core value under which IE functions: diversity. She called attention to the benefits of having a stronger gender diversity in an academic institution. Therefore, she showed how IE is collaborating with associations all around the world to empower the student body, alumni, and community as a whole.
José explained the ways in which the IMBA and MBA programmes are attempting to attain higher gender parity. In the IMBA faculty team, 90% are female, yet this type of female presence has not been achieved yet within the student body. The programme is working to include diversity in all modules and has three goals: more female professors in the IMBA, more female executives to speak with IMBA students, and a 40% female student body by 2021.
Lastly, Susanna Malcorra, the new Dean of the School of Global and Public Affairs gave closing remarks looking forward. She had three messages: trust yourself, have empathy, and always find your strengths and highlight your differences. She urged that until we achieve real gender parity, we have not yet made it, and closed by encouraging all attendees to adjust and adapt to the circumstances to be able to make the best out of this week’s celebration.