“This article was first published in Driving Innovation”
Equality and empowering all students are core concepts underpinning IE University’s innovative BBA degree
IE University wants to play a leading role in making sure that the 21st century belongs equally to women and men, particularly in the world of business and entrepreneurship. It’s not just a case of being fair; it’s the importance of tapping into women’s talent and differentiating factors.
When the heads of Google, Facebook and Microsoft in Spain and Portugal are all women, it is clear that change is in the air. And driving that transformation are women like Rebeca Minguela, the only Spaniard on the World Economic Forum’s 2017 list of Young Global Leaders. Minguela is the founder and CEO of Clarity, an innovative technological tool that enables asset managers to optimize the social impact of their investments.
Rebeca Minguela, CEO of Clarity
During her meteoric rise through tech firms, culminating in the sale of her own Blink Booking travel app to Groupon, Minguela observed the difficulty of truly accounting for corporate responsibility and social impact in profit calculations. “We want to meet the need of consumers and investors to understand how good or bad organizations are, what areas they cover and how they do it,” Minguela told the digital newspaper El Confidencial in March 2017.
Despite her success, the Spanish entrepreneur admitted to having noticed people’s surprise at seeing a young, feminine individual occupying such a leading role in board rooms. “I have felt it, above all in the way that people’s expectations are different; they don’t expect someone like me to have an executive position, and that has caused problems. It’s because they don’t believe you are capable of doing certain things, when it is precisely your youth that allows you to make a contribution of a certain kind.”
“Some people don’t believe you are capable of doing certain things, when it is precisely your youth that allows you to make a contribution”
Rebeca Minguela, CEO of Clarity
Whatever a person’s gender, studying a BBA at IE University offers a huge confidence boost and a chance to experiment in a supportive environment to find out what it is you have to offer the world. The hands-on nature of IEU’s learning philosophy and the focus on participation in diverse groups of students under the guidance of international experts makes every individual’s differences seem part of a wonderful whole.
“Studying at IEU has opened my eyes to the benefits of surrounding yourself with open-minded and multicultural individuals, where you are defined not by the color of your skin or your gender, but by your mindset and intellectual curiosity,” is how Joséphine Kant, a BBA graduate from 2014, puts it. “Knowing that I should not allow let myself to be judged, or judge others, on factors that we cannot control, has allowed me to build the confidence to truly be myself. IEU has given me the courage to be me and not make any excuses.”
“On average, women have to work twice as hard to make themselves heard” Joséphine Kant, IEU graduate, now at Google
Kant, who is originally Dutch but who grew up in Spain, joined Google in October 2014, and is currently based in London and working in the tech giant’s People Operations after sampling experiences in several other departments.
Thankfully, the Google employee believes that women are now an accepted part of the corporate landscape, although she still feels the path to success is more arduous for her sex.
“At IEU you are defined not by the color of your skin or your gender, but by your mindset and intellectual curiosity”
Joséphine Kant, IEU graduate now at Google
“I do think that, on average, women have to work twice as hard to make themselves heard. We are often silent partners, not taking the credit that we so rightfully deserve because we do not feel confident to do so. That has to change, and it largely depends on us to make our voice heard in the board room or at the table.”
And it is precisely that ability to “make our voice heard” that IEU wants to help instill in all of its students as it strives for a true level of equality in which a person’s quality is the only thing being judged.