The IE Diversity club and IE Women in Business club organized another successful event. Maria del Mar Martinez, Director from Mckinsey came to explain “Why Diversity Matters”. There are two details in Maria del Mar career that tell us a lot about Mckinsey leadership as well as hers. She was appointed partner while she was on a part time program after her maternity making her one of the first female partners in Iberia.
After moderating her brilliant presentation I received several messages of students saying it was a great and inspiring conversation, and so it was indeed!
She combined corporate figures with personal insights, which is what I personally enjoyed the most.
73% companies set gender as a priority and believe there is a case, mainly focusing in two targets: best brains and coping with customer demographics. But more and more women want to be there, and although there is not a causality relation there is a correlation between those corporations having, not one or two, but three women at the top and a healthier bottom line.
Further to Maria del Mar there are still four barriers: Structural obstacles; life style, that is continuously changing, not only for women but also for men who are changing the balance of time and the way they devote to work; Institutional biases, for example, women are promoted more often further due to their performance and men for their potential; and lastly, the individual mindset.
I totally agree with her, Diversity advancement is significant only when it´s a mandate from the top, further to her data only 54% of professionals think that their CEO is visibly committed with gender diversity …. 47% of women and 61% of men.
With regard to her personal insights. She gave general recommendations and ended with some specific advice for women.
- Take the reins
- Do not fear
- Set goals and go for them
- Be optimistic
- Look for and exploit your energy sources.
She insisted a lot in the importance of feedback, we have to learn how to give it and receive it. Do not be defensive when you receive feedback and do not take it personally.
And specifically for women who want to lead:
- Choose well your companion, it is a long and difficult way
- Organization! You have to delegate at home and at work
- Personal reflection
- Contribute to other women successful career.