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Kike Sarasola, President of Room Mate Group, receives Lifetime Achievement Award at IE University’s LGBT@Work Conference

05 /07 /2019 Events
Kike Sarasola, President of Room Mate Group, receives Lifetime Achievement Award at IE University’s LGBT@Work Conference

IE University’s LGBT@Work conference is one the longest-running LGBT+ work conferences in Europe.

Kike Sarasola, President and Founder of Room Mate Group, has received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the IE University’s student-led LGBT@Work Conference, an event organized by the IE Out & Allies Club, held at Casa de América in Madrid. The theme of this year’s conference has been ‘Inclusive Leadership’ and it has brought together LGBT+ professionals from around the world to share industry and company best practices, personal stories, and to discuss what it means to be LGBT+ in today’s workplace. IE University President Santiago Iñiguez de Onzoño and IE Business School Dean Martin Boehm have also participated in the event. “Managing diversity in human teams is what sets organizations apart. The development of policies to create human teams that are diverse in terms of gender, culture, background, religion or sexual orientation establishes an open corporate identity and impacts on a company’s performance,” said the president and founder of Room Mate Group, Kike Sararasola. “For me, it is a source of pride to receive this Lifetime Achievement Award from the students of IE University, an institution recognized internationally for its excellence in education, which promotes an innovative and inclusive educational ecosystem,” he added. “Kike Sarasola receives this award not only for his pioneering and disruptive vision in the tourism and hospitality industry, but also – and most importantly – for his relentless pursuit of a world of equal opportunity, nondiscrimination, and a diversity of ideas, culture and lifestyles,” said IE University President Santiago Iñiguez.  “He is a true embodiment of IE University’s core values and it is a distinct pleasure to honor him with the Lifetime Achievement Award and to celebrate his past achievements and those still to come in our collective future.” IE University’s LGBT@Work conference is one the longest-running LGBT+ work conferences in Europe.  The conference has been attended by more than 300 people, a group made up of IE University students, alumni, faculty, and members of the business community from around the world.  Speakers included:

  • Antonia Belcher, Founding Partner, MHBC.
  • Keisha Bell, Managing Director, Head of Diverse Talent Management and Advancement, DTCC.
  • Andy Dent, Global Head of Corporate Responsibility and Inclusion at Clyde & Co.
  • Miren Garay, Global Projects Director Sodexo.
  • Sergey Gorbatov, Director General Manager Development at Abbvie.
  • Alex Kalomparis, Vice President, Public Affairs, EMEA at Gilead Sciences.
  • Marion Mulder, Co-Founder and Board Member at Workplace Pride.
  • Muneer Panjwani, Head of Corporate Development for The Trevor Project.
  • Jose Alberto Pino, Dow Latin America Home Care Marketing Director.
  • Gian Venturini Reis, Lead Latin America for the Lifetime Customer Experience at SAP.
  • Sabine Stokar von Neuforn, Senior Regional Vice President International Transformation Programs at Salesforce.

“Diversity is a competitive advantage that both inspires individuals and drives organizational performance.”

“Diversity is a competitive advantage that both inspires individuals and drives organizational performance,” said Ellis Lanaux, President of the IE Out & Allies Club and a current International MBA student at IE Business School. “Our theme this year – Inclusive Leadership – celebrates people who endeavor to understand their own biases and preferences, and who seek out different viewpoints in order to make effective decisions. We hope the event has not only inspired people to become agents of change in the workplace but has also given them tangible methods for making that change happen.” IE University’s LGBT@Work conference sponsors include: Gilead, SAP, and IE Campus Life (Gold); Amazon, Google, Salesforce, Uber, and IE Foundation (Silver); IBM (founding partner); Simon Abboud, Gus & Flowers, myGwork, National LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce, and IE Corporate Relations and IE Talent & Careers (Supporters.) The hospitality partner has been Room Mate Hotels. The IE Out & Allies student club has been active since 2006 and counts close to 600 members. In addition to the annual conference, the group’s activities include employer recruiting events that highlight companies with strong LGBT+ diversity and inclusion bona fides, partnership with Fundación Eddy-G, Madrid’s first youth LGBT+ shelter home, monthly workshops with LesWorking, the first international professional network for lesbian women, quarterly documentary screenings highlighting LGBT+ issues around the world, regular HIV/AIDS health seminars, and information booths at campus wide events to promote LGBT+ awareness amongst students and faculty.  Recently, the IE Foundation in coordination with IE Out & Allies Club, became a founding member of REDI (Red Empresarial por la Diversidad y la Inclusión LGBT+), the first inter-company network in Spain for leaders and experts in the field of diversity and inclusion of LGBT+ employees.