Posts Tagged ‘diversity#8217;


LGBT@Work 2017

Written on July 10, 2017 by Campus Life in Professional

On June 29th, IEOut Club, IE Business School’s LGBTQ+ & Allies network, hosted the 11th Annual LGBT@Work Conference at ABC Serrano located in Madrid’s Salamanca district.  This year’s theme was “The Best Way Out” and the event brought together over 240 leading LGBTQ+ professionals from around the world to present their industry and company best practices, share personal journeys, and discuss what it means to be LGBTQ+ in the workplace today.  This year’s conference was particularly special as it coincided with Madrid’s hosting of World Pride 2017, a historic event that brought more than three million people and associations from around the world to the city in celebration of diversity and equal rights.

The conference began at 5pm with a Business Networking Forum designed for graduating students transitioning into leadership positions in the working world.  The forum began with a corporate best practices panel conducted by Fundación SERES, an organization devoted to the promotion of Social Corporate Responsibility among major corporations.  The panel was moderated by Lucila García & Álvaro Merello of Fundación SERES and included HR representatives from companies who participated in the Fundación SERES “Good Practices in Diversity & LGBTQ” report.

Panel Participants:
•  Miguel Castro – Sr. Director, Lead for Culture & Identity – SAP Global Diversity & Inclusion Office
•  Carla Otero – Head of Inclusion & Diversity (Spain) & Co-Chair Women & Supporters  of Western Europe – Willis Towers Watson
•  Ángel Rodrigo – Resourcing, Diversity & Inclusion Team Leader – Vodafone España
•  Malek Nejjai – Global Chief Diversity Officer – Amadeus IT Group
•  José Javier Muñoz Castresana – Security & Civil Protection Director – Metro Madrid

Link to the report: CLICK HERE

The panel was followed by a diversity & inclusion workshop, led by Roy Gluckman, a subject matter expert from South Africa; an entrepreneurial workshop, presented by Darren Spedale, founder of StartOut, an organization for LGBT entrepreneurs in the United States; a personal testimony from Magda Markowska, a young professional and previously closeted lesbian who used her coming out process to create Nielsen’s first European LGBT Network;  and concluded with a presentation from Pierre and Adrien Gaubert, founders of myGwork, an online recruitment and networking platform for LGBT professionals and graduates.

Santiago Iñiguez, Executive President of IE University, delivered the conference’s official welcome to an energetic room of attendees, representative of over 37 nationalities from around the globe.  The 2017 LGBT@Work Speakers Series began with a personal testimony from Shelly McNamara, Vice President of Human Resources at Procter & Gamble.  She encouraged conference attendees to open their hearts and minds as she shared her journey as a member of the LGBT community to audience members from the perspective of a mother, sister, daughter, aunt, and life partner.  She concluded her testimony with a poetry reading, a moving piece written in memory of her greatest ally, her mother-in-law, which moved some audience members to tears. Shelly encouraged those in attendance to live authentically and to work together at becoming better students, future employees, leaders, and human beings. 
Next up was Imran Khan, Creative Agency Lead of Google, who took to the stage to deliver an energetic and inspiring presentation about work life as a member of the Gaygler community, Google’s internal LGBTQ network.  Imran’s presentation included emotional videos relating to the influence technology has had over the past decade in advancing rights for LGBTQ persons, including the approval of same-sex marriage in France and the use of Google’s homepage as a platform for standing up against LGBTQ discrimination during the 2014 Sochi Olympic Winter Games.
The first half of the LGBT@Work Speakers Series concluded with a presentation by Vincent Doyle, IE University Professor & author of Making Out in the Mainstream: GLAAD and the Politics of Respectability. Vincent discussed in detail his experience with GLAAD, a U.S. non-governmental media monitoring organization founded by LGBT people in the media, and explained his inspiration behind the authoring of his book. He concluded his presentation with a directive to the audience: to continuously reassess the way the LGBTQ+ community is represented to ensure that efforts in developing the business leaders of tomorrow are truly representative of the entire LGBTQ+ spectrum.  
Malek Nejjai, Global Chief Diversity Officer of Amadeus IT Group & Santiago Iñiguez joined together on stage to present Margarita Alonso with the LGBT Leadership Award, IEOut Club’s highest recognition for individual achievement.  The honor was bestowed upon Margarita for her significant and positive impact in advancing LGBT issues within IE University, while serving in her former position as the Director General of the IE Foundation. 
The second half of the LGBT@Work Speakers Series began with an introduction by Michelle Raymond, IE Business School PhD Candidate and President of IEOut Club.  In addition to providing a brief history about the advent of the LGBT@Work Conference, Michelle spoke about IEOut club’s year-round activities which include the club’s: partnership with Fundación Eddy-G, Madrid’s first youth LGBTQ+ shelter home; monthly social events; documentary screenings highlighting LGBTQ+ issues around the world; and information booths at campus wide events dedicated to promoting LGBTQ+ awareness among students and faculty. She concluded by inviting to the stage and thanking the 2017 IEOut Club Coordinator Team: Zayne Imam, Leonardo Lima, William Monts de Oca, Cristobal Bozdogan, Rick Baray, and Arturo Avila.  
Sadiq Gilliani, Senior Vice President of Strategy at Lufthansa captivated the audience with his heroic account of his personal and professional coming out journey.  His success story spoke of the support system provided to him by his family and mentors within his organization, and also his determination and initiative to continuously take risks.
Zayne Imam, head of the LGBT@Work Speaker Committee, introduced the conference’s next presenter, Pauline Park, Chair of the New York Association for Gender Rights Advocacy and a 2012 Huffington Post “Most Influential Asian LGBT Icon.”  Pauline spoke about transgender issues and her experience co-founding and running New York’s first transgender advocacy organization.  She highlighted the fact that the fight for transgender equality transcends New York state’s borders and shared startling statistics about the lack of transgender protections nationwide. Pauline recounted an eye-opening experience and appealed to audience members that discrimination can assume all shapes and sizes, and protections must be set in place to represent everyone regardless of a person’s age, gender, or sexual orientation.
The final presentation of the evening was delivered by Brian Rolfes, Global head of recruiting at McKinsey & Company, and Co-Founder of GLAM, Mckinsey’s internal LGBTQ+ network. Brian’s energetic and interactive presentation highlighted research in support of LGBTQ+ persons and women in leadership positions within organizations.  He offered frameworks in support of his findings and walked audience members through his personal and professional coming out journey, which began at the advent of his career at Mckinsey, almost 20 years ago.  Brian concluded his thought-provoking speech with a gift presentation, representative of his home country, to the lead organizer of LGBT@Work.

Immediately following the LGBT@Work Speakers Series, attendees were invited to join the Business Networking Forum & Speakers Series Participants at the official Networking After Party. Conference attendees enjoyed a tapas-style dinner, drinks, and dancing while interactively networking with event speakers, sponsors, and partnering organizations.   Students representative of 27 universities worldwide and business professionals from around the globe attended the 11th Annual LGBT@Work Conference, creating a diverse and electric atmosphere at the longest-running LGBT work conference in Europe.
LGBT@Work 2017 was proudly sponsored by: Amadeus, IE Foundation, McKinsey & Company, Google, Agua enCaja Mejor, Clique, U.S. National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) & IBM.


Gender tension gap study – call for volunteers!

Written on July 7, 2016 by Campus Life in Other Activities

GTG TT#1 (4)The IE Center for Diversity is developing an innovative study focused to understand the unconscious barriers that prevent women leadership. The study entails a series of focus groups with young leaders.

For the resarch we are looking for MBA, IMBA and/or Executive MBA students and alumni to participate in a focus group.

This research is endorsed by Alcoa and Oak Foundation and has three IBEX partners, Ferrovial, Amadeus, Red Eléctrica and IBM as tech. Partner. We are sure that the scope of the study will have an important relevance in academic journals and generalist media but mostly will mean a review of gender leadership strategies at corporations.

Those who want to participate should sign up with their EMAIL ADDRESS.

If you are FEMALE, please sign up with your EMAIL ADDRESS here.

If you are MALE, please sign up with your EMAIL ADDRESS here.



Why LGBT diversity matters?

Written on March 4, 2016 by Campus Life in Professional

coffee sapAnother excellent coffee chat about diversity, this time about LGBT inclusion with Miguel Castro from SAP. On top of his work as Demand and Workforce Planning Director, he is one of the coordinators of LGBT initiatives at SAP. Miguel is an old folk of IE, he was one of the supporters and promoters of ieOut, our LGBT network, and has been there since the beginning.

He has a very wide international experience and capacity to reach out. In addition to it, he has a sound knowledge and expertise in LGBT inclusion best practices worldwide. He is not directly involved in diversity area, his commitment with LGBT at SAP is an on top work which is key to crystalize SAP´s commitment with this community

He started his presentation talking about the fuss with black community and the Oscars and explaining how actor Ian McKellen has cautioned that homophobia is as much of an issue among Academy voters as racism. This veteran actor affirms that no openly gay star has ever won the statue as Best Actor. It is true that there are openly gay Oscar winners, counted on the fingers of one hand, but not as protagonist.

20160229_201006He provoked the audience with the following question: If you were an actor or an actress thinking about coming out, would you dare to do that?

Very often corporations answer they do not have LGBT specific policies, because they do not have inequality issues, and sometimes they also state that they do not have gay people within its staff members! Is equality an issue at the Academy? In his presentation, he focused on the economic case of LGBT Diversity. Adopting such kind of policies has direct consequences in the bottom line. Better margins are an example of the kind of result you can achieve by reducing cost and increasing income.

The implementation of LGBT inclusive policies has a direct impact on cost-performance thanks to a reduction in the  expeditures to attract or retain talents. This is clear especially in those industries where innovation is a key factor such as consulting or IT. On the other hand, your margins will increase when people are not forced to hide themselves. If they  can freely express who they are, they will be much more productive!

20160229_205317Later on, we discussed widely how the development of LGBT networks at workplace is crucial to lead diversity champions to properly approach specific needs and challenges of this community. In this context, he answered one of the most difficult questions regarding LGBT global diversity: Expats at countries where being LGBT is against law and they could risk jail or even death penalty. His answer was clear: same rights as the rest of workers prevail even though they mean costs increase. Information is also key and the corporate LGBT network can help on that.

Benefits of a proper strategy for LGBT community is not only profitable when talking about workforce but also when focusing on your client.

So talent, consumer loyalty and innovation… three powerful reasons to be gay friendly!


LGBT@Work 2015

Written on November 23, 2015 by Campus Life in Professional

RDR_8164As every year Santiago Iñiguez, the Dean of IE Business School, opened the event reminding us that cultural changes do not happen overnight, it takes time to build a more inclusive society. He congratulated the IEOut Club because they are the architect of the future society.

From a corporative perspective it is important to know which values we are pushing ahead. He regretted that the friendly atmosphere that we can find here… does not exist in many parts of the world, there are intolerant regimes and societies, and we have to help change that.

Margarita Alonso shared latest news about the IEOut Club and LGBT@WORK that have given a further step in their internationalization as it has been chosen as best practices in LGBT inclusion at Out&Equal. She also reminded all of us that next year is the tenth edition and we have to craft the best event ever! And finally she has shared the AET 2015 award with all members of ieOut but very specially with IBM, with all coordinators and with all speakers who have shared knowledge, experience and have become role models showing that the best thing we can do is to be who we are and to be proud of it.



Integration became our law, regardless of race, color or creed. We also believed in the women workforce. And we also were the first company to say that we won ́t discriminate against people because of their sexual orientation. It is not just a kind of poster statement: this is what we are.  He showed this video:

Furthet to IBM, there are different levels of action:

  • Foundational, like compliance with the law
  • Awareness, like elimination of barriers
  • Strategic, like leveraging a business culture based on diversity. This is where we are at IBM at this stage.

How we foster equal opportunities and diversity, including LGBTI? We implement a “Glocal” approach: Global strategy, Local execution. This allows us to take into account cultures.

We use internal and external media to give visibility to LGBT. We involve marketing and advertising at IBM to address LGBT people and Supporters. We’re very visible.

Every diversity dimension has a council that decides which are the next objectives to advance. Last ones for LGBT where: Global benefit equality; Leadership development; Community vitality; Workplace climate; Growth markets and Business development.

There is also a very strong culture of reaching out with strategic partners globally granting best practices and cutting edge innovation.


Manuel started sharing data: Our legal department handled a huge number of cases of LGBT discrimination at the workplace on the ground of:

  • Sexual orientation (236),
  • Gender identity (48),
  • HIV Status (30)
  • As well as cases of LGBT mobbing (61).

The company’s closets are still full. There is a big, talented and scared group of men and women into the closets of their companies. What do they fear?

  • Bullying
  • LGBT glass ceiling
  • Dismissal

The University of Pennsylvania made a research on the glass ceiling of people who are LGB or suspected to be LGB: counterfeiters, Integrators, Avoiders (the biggest group).

He presented different examples of harassment including dismissals and showing that in many cases they are provoked by top management but also very often by colleagues.

LGBTphobic prejudices are the main obstacles for real and full integration. This is why companies need to do an internal work. Spanish legal framework is not enough, as it does not protect from peers (focus is usually on managers) nor from isolated cases (as bullying is described as a repeated, hostile, intentional behavior). Discrimination still exists.

Many LGBTI employees renounce to their rights and benefits. This can happen because they don ́t want their company and colleagues to know that they are or will get married to a person of the same gender or sex. This is why companies should proactively promote LGBTI networks and Equality policies.

In the current scenario, in Spain every LGBT employee has to think about his own personal strategy. Therefore, previous legal advisement is always convenient. Reaching for LGBT legal professionals and services is crucial.


When we talk about being trans at school or university we usually think about transsexual students. What about the teachers? When we look at a baby the first thing we try to nderstand is whether it is a she or a he. What if we can ́t tell you the sex and you can ́t transfer your gender expectations on the baby?

Not knowing the sex of a baby is destabilizing… as much as not understanding the gender of a person. When a person has an identifiable sex or gender, is perceived as not human. People thought of them as monsters, because they had fear of them.

But we are not just sexed people, gendered people, LGBT people, we are also other things: we have intersectional identities, we have different interests, different histories and so on. We need trans*pedagogies to change these structures and offer greater freedom in education:

As Alejandra Elenes reminds us, it’s time to go beyond inclusion or assimilation, and go instead at the roots of the problem: social conditions and power relations.

Valentina Flores suggests to avoid prescriptive pedagogies and to rethink your role as a teacher from your own gender identity. This means to think about how your gender identity will affect your discourse either in how it will be perceived by the students, influence the dynamics of your class or set the limits of what you consider acceptable or not to hear: Thinking of us as intersectional beings allows us to challenge the concept of “normal”.

Humor facilitates the learning process by displacing fear of LGBT into curiosity. What makes us a “boy” or a “girl”? Our genitals or our identity? “Queerness” is about looking for something that we fell is still missing, is about rejecting a definition here and now to insist instead on the value of potentiality.


Marta started sharing a touching story about how one LGBT@WORK changed her vision: “I had recently came out at that time. I didn ́t have any lesbian friend. I came here almost forced by my heterosexual friends and I was very scared… but it was very good, because I discovered a new world!” She also realized the misrepresentation of lesbian women.

Marta participated in the first Fitur Gay (LGBT) lesbian panel. This was very important. Many LGBT destinations are really only for gay men. Where are the lesbian destinations?

Then she cofounded Lesworking in 2014. We connect all together in order to be stronger.

We were invited to give several speeches in many countries. We were given visibility and we tried to give visibility to the lesbian community. We received several awards. We came out on the media.

If we have to select one article, is probably this one about the lesbian executives managers who are afraid to come out of the closet but want to come out now.

Being a lesbian woman has plenty of opportunities & challenges. We are the same proportion of population as gay men. There are also many opportunities in the business world lesbians have different needs than gay men and heterosexual women in important industries like culture, travel and leisure and family.

You can view a video presentation of Marta Fernández Herrainz here.


Very often in the file we have in the intranet to present ourselves to the rest of our colleagues we put pictures with our wives and husbands, children, pets etc. What happen if you cannot disclose who really are your beloved ones.

According to a study conducted by Human Rights Campaign, 62% LGBT graduated at university go back into the closet when they start their first job. But we should not be afraid of saying who we are.

P&G is a top company for Reputation & Leadership. Diversity and Inclusion is also in our DNA. Our vision is to be recognized as the Global Leader in Diversity & Inclusion. We are in the top 10 of the Global Diversity ranking, we score 100 at Corporate, and we support ENDA, the Employment Non Discrimination Act. Also, we cofounded the Business Coalition for Global Workplace Fairness by HRC.

Gable was born in the 90 ́s. It is sponsored by Top Management and present at all functions and levels: We promote LGBTI networking and then assess how this impact on employees engagement. We do this by asking people if they can identify themselves according to their sexual identity,  gender and sexual orientation and then pose a number of questions regarding engagement and equal opportunities. We can then overlay this survey with another survey we have and detect whether employees feel supported by the company and also whether those in an ERG score higher in engagement.

image1And the answer is yes. Best Practices worldwide are somehow still hard to implement in Spain. A common counter-argument is that the Spanish legal and social contexts are favorable to LGBTI people, so no action is needed by the company:

Despite the Spanish legal and social framework is perceived as positive or at least as neutral by the Non-LGBTI people, LGBTI employees are still afraid of coming out because they feel they won ́t be respected in the workplace neither as a professional nor as a person: There are at least 3 clear benefits for companies enabling and promoting LGBTI diversity:

 1)Increase Productivity

2)Get value

3)Know your Human Capital

RDR_8309Coming out is a personal decision and nobody should make this decision under pressure or under fear of coming out. We believe that a way to empower the invisible diversity in our company is by removing the fear of coming out. This can be achieved by giving visibility to Top Management Support.

Where is your company in the pyramids? Is your company supporting LGBTI Employees Networking? Are there HR visible employees? Any top manager is out? You should expect to find some reluctance. It is a matter of normal distribution: in every context there will be reluctance, opposes and people with bias. Just deal with them.

For the same reason (normal distribution) some employees will not see the need to talk of LGBTI issues .on the basis that “we’re always talking about gay people!” A humorous way to address reluctance may be by showing statistics about what topics we search more on the web. There are more researches on google about football, family and kids than homosexuality.

So we’re not always talking about homosexuality. Educate people on diversity and we wouldn’t need to talk about inclusion.

A majority of people think diversity is good, so: are you inclusive or exclusive? … because there is not a medium term.

We thank Roberto Boccardi for the amazing report!


Women in Business Mentoring for Career Options Program

Written on June 17, 2014 by Campus Life in Professional

Rachel Introducing Mentoring ProgramIf you don’t know about the Women in Business Club’s mentoring program yet, YOU SHOULD!

The program is coordinated by the Women in Business Club with the help and support of the IE Center for Diversity.  The mentors are men and women executives and professionals based in Madrid whom come from a variety of nationalities and industries.  All mentors speak either Spanish or English, or both.  The purpose of the program is to provide professional support and mentoring during their master program, to develop a model to provide support for the careers of high-potential women, and to develop evaluation and monitoring tools that will enable the program to track the professional development of participants over time.

The program begins with an initial workshop to introduce mentees to mentors, provide mentoring training and help participants find a good match.  Once the mentees and mentors have been matched 1:1, they will begin their individual mentoring sessions where they can focus on what the mentee has identified as their goals.  Once the four individual sessions have been completed, the IE Center for Diversity provides a closing event for the mentees and mentors separately so that they can share their experiences with each other.  We then ask for a final evaluation from the mentees and mentors so that we (the Women in Business club and the Center for Diversity) can analyze the process among all parties involved in order to make improvements for coming years.

Mentoring MeetingSounds great, right?  I’m sure you’re wondering how to sign up.  Our current mentoring program is already in session, but we will be providing an information session for the next mentoring program in the summertime (to be announced at a later date) where you can get more details on the application process and you can also ask questions to the Women in Business club.  The application process is rigorous as we’re looking for the most dedicated and responsible students.  After all, you’re representing not just yourselves, but also the Women in Business Club and IE.  As a former mentee myself, I promise that it is worth it!  And if you need more reasons for applying, here are quotes from mentees and mentors that participated in last year’s program:

“Thanks to my mentor, joining the Mentoring Program was one of the best decisions of my MBA.”
– Mentee

“It was an amazing experience with a lot of support for different areas in my life and future career path.” – Mentee

“This process has inspired me to become a future mentor.  I have gained so much through this program that I would like to give back to society.”
– Mentee

“Vuelves a los básicos de tu motivación profesional y llegas enseguida a puntos de encuentro entre el mentor y el mentee.  El aprendizaje es mutuo.”
– Mentor

“Was able to engage with a mid-career woman to better understand the challenges she faces in making decisions about what she really wants in a career.”
– Mentor

“The mentoring program allowed me to discover and strengthen a stronger part of myself that I didn’t realize I had.”
– Mentee

Karishma Me Lisa“The program provides the opportunity to exchange experiences with a person who has a significant professional career, but especially excellent personal qualities.”
– Mentee

“El programa me ha ayudado a conocerme más a mi misma y disfrutar más de la situación profesional que tengo.”
– Mentee

For more information, please contact

IE Women in Business Club

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