In March, the Women in Business club at IE welcomed Carmen García, Director of Business Analytics at IBM and Mentor for the Women in Business Club’s mentoring program, to present the top career advancement factors from a study with 600 IBM Executives from around the world. While there was very valuable information in the presentation, the club was surprised to see the important dialogue that happened during the Q&A at the end of the presentation. Both men and women in the audience were asking questions to Carmen and to each other, and then it became more of a conversation. “As a man, how do I manage women employees in a conservative culture?” “Am I making a career mistake as a woman by joining a company that is male-dominated?” “How can I help empower other women?” “How do I deal with women who are negative towards other women?” A few participants then approached a few of the club coordinators after the presentation and asked us to “continue the conversation”.
We decided to do just that.
In April, we launched our first event in the series of “An honest conversation”. The event was simple: a casual roundtable on gender in the workplace. Both men and women from a variety of countries joined in an open conversation about gender. Some questions were controversial and we didn’t always agree, but that’s ok. The important thing was that we were open to hearing each other and open to discussing without judgment.
In May, we continued “An honest conversation” with a panel featuring 3 IE professors followed by a Q&A. Each professor gave a short background of their career path and then we opened the floor to questions around gender from the students. We can’t take all of the credit for this event. We were actually approached by several students that were both inspired by and curious about the lives of their female professors at IE.
We realize that these events may be simple and short, but we also realize that they are some of the only gender-related career conversations that many of us students will have while at IE. So please join in and continue the “honest conversation”.
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IE Women in Business Club