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6th WIB Leadership Conference Hits New High

6th WIB Leadership Conference Hits New High | IE Business School

The annual event for the IE Women in Business club kicks off March 8th.

change-makers-news

When the curtain lifts on the 6th Leadership Conference March 8th, it ushers in a new high for the Women in Business Club’s main event that has become a must for the IE Business School community– and anyone who wants to learn about the latest trends and practices from leading global experts.

This year’s two-day agenda packs keynotes, panel discussions, workshops and networking focused on the theme Change-makers: Leading & Redefining the Future.

“The 6th Leadership Conference won’t be like any before it,” said Caroline LoMonaco, President of the Undergraduate Chapter of Women in Business (WiB) and one of this year’s organizers.

“We want to push the idea that gender equality isn’t a women’s issue but a business issue and to address it we will need incredible diversity, spanning across all sectors, nationalities, and of course, genders.”

Caroline LoMonaco, President of the Undergraduate Chapter of Women in Business (WiB)

“It’s not just the opportunity to be inspired by the amazing work of women leading in all domains, one unique aspect the conference is to learn about the different ways men are supporting this urgent mission of diversity and inclusion. Having men as our allies is necessary for a complete change,” said IE Business School Professor Kriti Jain, who participated in last year’s conference.

Panels on empowering community and overcoming barriers rounding out the program

Maite Gomez Fraile, Head of Youtube Spain & Portugal, Béatrice Dupuy, Proctor & Gamble President and General Manager FBNL, Claudine Aoun, President of the National Commission for Lebanese Women, and Margarita Mayo, author of Yours Truly, Staying Authentic in Leadership and Life, will deliver keynote addresses, with panels on empowering community and overcoming barriers rounding out the program.

“Being a change-maker means to have an impact: to take action and leave things better than how they were found,” said Charlotte Wedekind, President of the Graduate Chapter of WiB and one of this year’s organizers.

“No matter your background and circumstances. Change-makers challenge social norms, don’t feel confined by the status quo and are not defeated by failures.”

Charlotte Wedekind, President of the Graduate Chapter of WiB

This year organizers expect a record turnout of in-person guests, plus hundreds of online attendees thanks to the ability to host the in-person event in the newly-inaugurated IE Tower for the first time—as opposed to in Madrid’s Google Campus or the online version of the pandemic years.

“Much of the past two years took place online. This restricted the ability to develop meaningful connections and discouraged participants to attend at all. This year the Leadership Conference will be taking place in person,” Wedekind said, highlighting the big first of holding the conference in the IE Tower. “The tower epitomises all of IE’s values- sustainability, technology and innovation, entrepreneurship, diversity and a focus on the humanities.”

The Leadership Conference, sponsored by Amazon, Zalando, Campus Life and IE Foundation, will address current trends in the workplace and how to be resilient in a world of change.

“It is clear that we are at a turning point in history where technology, the workforce, the economy and society are intertwined more than ever. This means that the world in 2030 won’t look like the world of 2022, we are living in a formative time for the next generations to come,” said LoMonaco.

Women in Business Vice-President Lidia Barrera agrees, “It is vital to act with emotional intelligence and be resilient before the uncertainty and constant changes that we face daily and thus be able to redefine our future.”

Harnessing the Power of Community panel

IE Business School Dean Lee Newman will participate in the Harnessing the Power of Community panel, along with Marta del Castillo (CEO of Spain Startup and South Summit), Begoña Tiscar (Head of Main Line Area Siemens Mobility) and Véronica Rodríguez (Lead Client Solutions Manager LinkedIn).

Castillo said the event will address current issues like the “decentralization of services, radical collaboration as a competitive advantage, diversity as a driver of innovation, human skills as the future of work and purpose as the key catalizer of business.”

For Paula Traore, IE Alumni Women’s Network board member, the goal is to elevate the issues that matter the most and place them on the conversation table of decision-makers across industries and countries—and inspire the alumni community and beyond to become change-makers themselves.

Other issues addressed this year are the effects of technology, climate change and the pandemic, mental health, loneliness, individualism, inequality and exclusion– especially in the new digital world.

IE University Provost Manuel Muñiz said there are numerous trends of change that need to be discussed and understood, but the “most important debate of our time is how to govern technological transformation and its many implications.”

“It’s key to understand how these trends unfold into social change and the speed to which it happens. Why is it key? Because we need a pathway to navigate into the future.”

Paula Traore, IE Alumni Women’s Network board member

Tanya Mair, IE Alumni Women’s Network board member, said she believes the trend that is on everyone’s mind is best represented by Tik Tok.

“Now more than ever we are able to get access to information in fun and creative ways. This type of technology has the power to dismantle so many barriers and help people connect in authentic ways.”

Dismantling Barriers and Accelerating Equity panel

The Dismantling Barriers and Accelerating Equity panel includes: Sarah Cordivano (Head of D&I Governance & Strategy at Zalando), Bedor Alrashoudi (CEO Jazan Energy and Development Co-JAZADCO), Luisa Gomez Bravo (BBVA Global Corporate Head of Corporate and Investment Banking), Marta Encinas (Education Gender Ambassador for the OECD), and IE Business School Associate Dean for MBA and Tech Programs Jose Esteves.

Cordivano cautions the way forward must include a diversity of voices—from different sectors and demographics—to avoid stepping on others to make room for women. T

“I would say making sure to take an intersectional approach to current trends is important so we are not perpetuating other types of inequality in our projects that seek to support women,” Cordivano said.

Mair, who planned the event for the past two years, said she is most excited about hearing Alrashoudi speak.

“She is an incredible business mind. She represents the transformation of an entire nation. She’s a light and a force in Saudi Arabia,” Mair said.

For Alrashoudi, she’s ready to talk about change and encourage others to be the agent.

“A changemaker is that person who sees opportunity, can imagine a new reality, and takes actions to lead and collaborates to bring this new reality to life,” she said.

Those who have attended or participated in the conference in previous years, have marked their calendars and note the conference offers a unique environment and enhances the global conversation.

“Personally, I am a huge fan of all the efforts of Women in Business club! Seeing a student-led group lead these important conversations makes me optimistic that our future is in safe hands,” Jain said.

And the event leaves a mark.

“On a personal and professional note, this experience has given me the confidence to take on new challenges,” said Isa Rosberg, Women in Business Undergraduate Chapter Co-President 2021, who helped organize last year’s event.

Kristina Miller, who also helped organize the 2020 and 2021 Leadership Conferences, said she has been transformed by the power of the experience.

“Two years post-IE, I continue to be involved in gender equality initiatives, both through the IE Alumni Women’s Network and within my company as a Women@Criteo ambassador, albeit with a new perspective that IE Women in Business has given me.”

Kristina Miller, Women in Business Club President 2019-2020

Reflections by Current and Past Organizers

Tanya Mair | IE Business School

Personal Reflection by Tanya Mair, Board member of IE Alumni Women’s Network, WIB president 2020-2021, Life Coach

I’ve seen now three years of this conference’s evolution. In 2022, I could be completely wrong, but it feels like we are seeing a light on the horizon. After a time that felt so dark, I can’t help but recognize how the challenges we faced were huge opportunities to grow our community and connect at a global scale.

In 2020 our goal was all about expanding community. To facilitate this, we needed a large space that could include as many people in the conversation as possible.  This was a real challenge for us, we had no budget but still managed to find an incredible space that met all our needs. Then, a week before the event we got the news that Spain was expected to shut down. I remember our team meetings were a lot about how we literally had no idea what to do. We decided to remain calm, stick to the plan and ended up hosting the last major group event that IE would have in two years. I believe the legacy of that event and the community we began to build carries us through to this day.

In 2021, connection was not just a buzz word but a real problem that technology allowed us to face. However, it’s important to remember how fatigued everyone was in Mach 2021 and I think the club saw this challenge as an opportunity to step up its digital marketing game. The evolution of WIB’s brand to something bright, vibrant and thought-provoking was an extremely strategic move on the part of the club’s organizers to keep the community engaged and connected.

I am excited to see the integration of all our previous years lessons and I have no doubt that this year is going to be a spectacular reflection of the world that wants to open up even more. This is a truly high-tech global event that is guaranteed to start extremely important conversations surrounding the needs of our student and alumni communities!

Kristina Miller | IE Business School

Personal Reflection by Kristina Miller, Organized 2019 and 2020 Conferences, Marketing at Criteo

It’s been incredibly exciting and rewarding to be involved in another edition of the IE Women in Leadership Conference. I originally lead the organization of the 4th annual conference that took place in March 2020, just a few days before the pandemic first hit. It’s been interesting to reflect on how much has changed for women in business and leadership since then and, at the same time, how much has remained the same.

Getting involved in this year’s annual conference was a no-brainer for me. My time at IE was heavily shaped by my role as President of the Women in Business Club, so when I had the opportunity to contribute again, this time as an alumni and founding board member of the IE Alumni Women’s Network, I jumped at it. The community that the club has built over the past 10+ years and the relationships that we have fostered are invaluable and it’s gratifying to be able to continue to support.

Prior to IE I was involved in gender equality initiatives, however, it was through my involvement and leadership in the club that I have grown into the woman and leader that I am today. So much of who I am now, both professionally and personally, has been shaped by that experience. Two years post-IE, I continue to be involved in gender equality initiatives, both through the IE Alumni Women’s Network and within my company as a Women@Criteo ambassador, albeit with a new perspective that IE Women in Business has given me. I take pride in the work being done in the Women in Business communities at IE and continue to carry that motivation and strive to drive impact and change outside of IE in the broader business world.

What is a change-maker?

"Being a change-maker means to have an impact: to take action and leave things better than how they were found. No matter your background and circumstances. Change-makers challenge social norms, don't feel confined by the status quo and are not defeated by failures."
"To me, being a change maker means taking a critical analysis of the structures and institutions we have in our societies and coming up with creative and sustainable ways to redefine them to make them more inclusive and accessible for all people."
"Being a change maker means being the change agent that proactively impacts society through different actions and in a positive way. It is the leader who raises her/his voice to make a statement of what could be different for everyone in favor of the community since she/he is in constant search of a better future, even if that means making some uncomfortable. Likewise, this change agent is so versatile that has so much energy that passes on to others and helps them to lead and redefine their own future."
"A purpose driven person, a nonconformist, an entrepreneur who transforms problems into solutions. Change can be driven from any position or sector, is more related to purpose and responsibility that sectors, and businesses are more than ever expected to have an active role in promoting positive change."
"Being a change maker means being a leader and driving positive impact in whatever it is that you do."
"A change maker is a person that sees problems as opportunities and uses this time filled with uncertainty to define new ways of living and working together. They are someone that understands the power of sharing knowledge to as many people as possible in order to create actions that positively impact as many people as possible. IE Alumni Women’s Network Board Member."
"Being a change-maker is a matter of attitude. That is, one needs to stop being passive and start acting. Secondly, it has to do with being an observer, a self-observer and an observer of reality at large. This will help understand the dynamics of the thing you want to change as well as what and why it matters to you. Thirdly, you'd perhaps find a spot where you could start creating some impact. It might be just an impact in yourself or an impact in a larger group."
"Like Ashoka defines it: "someone who is taking creative action to solve a social problem." I identify it as someone with great empathy, problem solver, high levels of creativity and innovation, and at the same time, someone that likes to take action and be collaborative."
"What does being a change-maker mean exactly? It means being able to shape the world around you in ways that you deem necessary and useful. Enabling change is about mobilizing resources and people effectively towards certain goals. It is all about results."
"A changemaker is that person who sees opportunity, can imagine a new reality, and takes actions to lead and collaborates to bring this new reality to life."
"Being a change-maker means thinking outside the box of traditional solutions to challenges of gender and diversity in Business. Specifically, this means taking a data driven approach that doesn't rely on anecdotes or assumptions to develop and implement ideas that have the impact we want."