Esade has presented Esade Women Initiative (EWI) and the WE – Alumni Women Empowerment Club, two initiatives that are born to accelerate gender equity in society and the business world. “Universities and business schools have a responsibility to be agents of change and set an example before society in gender equality policies” said Eugenia Bieto, director of EWI, president of the WE Club and former director general of Esade, during the presentation of both initiatives, which represent, according to Bieto, “an important leap forward in that direction.” The opening ceremony has also had a presentation by Isla Ramos, CEO of Save The Children and former executive director of Lenovo, who said that “in recent years we have made little progress and very slowly in numerical terms, but now no one questions the need for change, and this is a huge advance. We are all convinced, we need to carry it out. “
EWI: training, research and social debate for equality
Aware of the need to move this commitment to gender equality beyond the classroom, Esade has launched Esade Women Initiative (EWI) which encompasses all the actions of the academic institution in this area and also promotes initiatives for diversity in research and social debate. EWI intends to turn Esade into an academic benchmark in gender equality, through concrete actions to accelerate equity and diversity in four areas. In the first place, in training, including a transversal gender perspective in all Esade programs, but also with specific programs for women – such as Promote, Progress or Unstoppable Girls 50 & 50GL -. Second, with the investigation. In this sense, Esade has 13 professors whose main or partial research focus is the management of diversity and female leadership. Third, from the ability to generate and contribute to social debate, Esade promotes issues related to women's access to positions of responsibility, gender equality policies and women's entrepreneurial activity. Finally, with the development of a diversity policy in the academic institution itself.
Diversity as a source of creativity and innovation in companies
Gender diversity in the company is not only a reflection of a more egalitarian society, but also increases its competitiveness. To achieve it, a strong and cohesive organizational culture is necessary, in which the commitment to equity is part of the core strategy. For this, the contribution of the new WE-Alumni Women Empowerment Club, the Esade Alumni platform that, together with EWI, connects professionals interested in contributing to gender diversity in companies, which recognize the complementarity of talent and They aspire to contribute to gender equality in companies.
Within the framework of the presentation of EWI and WE, Esade has organized a round table in which leading experts have analyzed the real impact of equality plans on the competitiveness of companies and have valued the importance of diversity in Workplaces to promote creativity and innovation. Ricardo Bacchini, HR director and member of the Volkswagen Group Executive Committee has agreed that “the company's story has changed” and has pointed out “that it is a matter of time that the consequences of this change can be perceived”.
For his part, Magda Malé, director of Strategic Projects and Diversity at Coca Cola, has said that “we are moving slowly, but we are moving forward” and have valued the potential of these Esade initiatives to “help the corporate sector” to achieve change. Alexandra Maratchi, co-founder and CEO of Homuork, has shared the opinion that there is now more predisposition to change, but has pointed out that “then, in the conversion into shares, is where I see little movement.” On the other hand, Helena Guardans, president of WebHelp Spain, highlighted the importance of education, which she considers “very important in all areas, also in the company”, but has also defended the need for quotas in the current context. “Quotas are needed to normalize the situation, because only in good faith, we do not arrive,” he said.
The impact of training in the professional career of women
Although the percentage of female students in universities borders on parity in the western world, their presence in business schools is reduced as the programs are aimed at professionals of greater age and experience. Aware of this challenge, and in line with Esade's commitment to prepare and train women who are able to break that trend and create new futures, Esade drives gender equality in the business sector from training, and is committed to diverse classrooms encouraging, even through scholarships and grants to women who want to boost their professional growth.
This bet gets its fruits and every day there are more women studying programs such as the Full-Time MBA, which until recently were mainly male, and this year in Esade 39% of women attend it. This record is produced in a year in which the Executive MBA has also achieved, for the second consecutive year, a 40% female participation, ten points higher than the world average. Along the same lines, in the Executive Masters more than 50% of our participants are women.
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