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IE Celebrates International Women’s Day

IE University celebrated Women’s Day with a two-day event, featuring women from different industries sharing their insights on gender equality and the future of empowerment.

IE celebrated women with a two-day event that encompassed both campuses in a wide range of events and activities. The IE Center for Diversity joined forces with the IE Women initiative and the Women in Business Club to celebrate and commemorate International Women’s day on the 7th and 8th of March.

With the premise of “Pass it On”, a project created to highlight the uniqueness of women, the Madrid and Segovia campuses were flooded by exceptional women who shared their passion for equality and their journeys towards personal and professional success.

IE University President Santiago Iñiguez kicked off the event with Celia de Anca, Director of the IE Center for Diversity, Julie Skogheim, Women in Business Club President, and Bubelo Thabela Mlilo, student and poet who delighted the audience with a poem written for the occasion and turned into a video.


“We believe that in order to empower women across the globe, the best way is through education.”

“We believe that in order to empower women across the globe, the best way is through education. More women in the classroom means more women in top positions, as entrepreneurs and investors, and important decision-makers in the global sphere,” Iñiguez said in his welcoming statement. “If we can inspire this trend within IE, we can Pass it On to future generations.”

Amongst different events exploring topics ranging from Humanities and Innovation to the Future of Work, IE Women’s Day celebrated female authors by hosting book corners where writers could interact with the audience and share their ideas, culminating in a cocktail where attendees and speakers mingled and discussed the key insights of the day.

“On days like this I feel proud to be part of a community that commemorates women and invites us to be part of their success,” said João Góis, student at IE University. “I believe knowledge and education set a ground for real change, and this approach allows us to understand and reflect about the importance of equality and the road we still have to pave.”

The panels held at both campuses explored the implications of current challenges women face in their careers, including bias gaps, inequality and lack of confidence.

“Women are more than 50% of earners of masters and PhD, they are educated and skilled enough to face any challenge.”

“Women are more than 50% of earners of masters and PhD, they are educated and skilled enough to face any challenge,” expressed Teresa Martín Retortillo, Executive President at IE Exponential Learning, “but I wonder if there is any way to fill the gap of confidence? It seems to be the only skill that women don’t master as well as men.”

Speakers agreed collaboration between men and women is key to real equality in which differences become synergies.

“We are now realizing that female leaders are more collaborative and have more empathy,” said Bárbara Calixto, VP of Marketing, Cabify. “We are trying to create a word of ‘we’, and it looks like we are doing awesome.”

The Women in Business Club invited men to the conversation under the hashtag #MaleAllies, and had panelists and attendees discuss possibilities for involvement.

“To fight for equality means to fight together.”

“Men can be such great sponsors for women, we need men to be our partners,” exclaimed Dr. Basma AlBuhairan, Executive Director Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA), “To fight for equality means to fight together.”

IE Women Initiative’s de Anca reminded attendees that the group organizes mentoring programs, networking opportunities and exclusive scholarships for the community. She said it is important to work continuously for gender equality, not just once a year.

“We should work every day, all year round, in every organization, to eliminate existing barriers and enhance women’s empowerment. However, at least once a year, it is good to join forces, to think of the problems and share the potential solutions,” de Anca said.