In celebration of International Women’s Day which took place worldwide on March 8, 2015, this entry is brought to you by, Margarita Alonso, Director General of Fundación IE, in regards to her experience at an recent event commemorating the day.
“The colors of success, women in the digital world” the words of Maria José Sobrinos, the Director of Human Resources and Diversity at Accenture, convey joyful celebration of the advancement of women and the stimulus to keep working. IE has celebrated International Women’s Day along with Accenture for the past seven years. In her introduction, Celia de Anca explained why Accenture is our partner on such a significant day – they also count diversity among their most precious values.
The New Colors of Success
In an inspiring round table, moderated by María Eizaguirre, Marketing Director for IE University, it was clear that the concept of success – linked to money and hierarchy in the past – is quickly changing. Dr. Isabel Guillén, Doctor of Traumatology at CEMTRO Clinic, explained she has not looked for success, but rather strives to achieve daily targets, and measures success in three milestones: the wellbeing of her patients, her teaching, and research and development. “We have to be better every day otherwise we stop to be good,” she explained. She also defined success as working together “If you do not add, you do not optimize.”
Fernando Encinar, Co-founder of Idealista, reflected on when he thought it important to have an expensive car, but he now travels by motorbike and treasures “…the happiness of those small details, the pride of his mother and his significant other, and the satisfaction of his teams.”
Women and the Digital world
The digital world has the potential to equalize gender differences and balance big brands with emerging companies backed by very low budgets. The world becomes much smaller. It allows you to think big with few boundaries: language, creative capability, and the limitations of your own response. For Dr. Guillén, their innovation in wireless arthroscopy technology simplified large monitors down to a simple iPad connection with no light requirements.
Her venture to give a surgeon Google Glasses meant a new dimension for learning and teaching. This technology can be adapted to the extreme situations often encountered in an emergency room, or even a battlefield, where a doctor can be guided by a more experienced colleague from miles away. This innovation is also useful to transmit knowledge and experience since no book or article offers a more vivid lesson than the own eye of the doctor operating.
The White Truffle
Fernando shared a story that exemplifies a problem women face in the workplace. While searching for a CFO for Idealista, they requested to receive women candidates from a headhunter. The first round of seven candidates came back without any women. It was only after several attempts that they were presented with two women candidates. The present CFO of Idealista did not a profile on LinkedIn before her interview.
Sometimes, women are not conscious of the importance of visibility even when they are comfortable at their present job and not actively seeking to change. They are like the white truffle, precious, but if you want it you have to search for it because it is hidden.
Culturally, women often keep a lower profile; we are less indulgent in self evaluations and we do not ask for salary increases as often. Even though most sophisticated companies are aware of this there is still room for improvement.
Happy International Women´s Day! Give yourself a present: update your LinkedIn and dust off your Twitter! When you think you don’t have enough time, remember that visibility is a must of leadership.
María José Sobrinos, Director of Human Resources and Diversity, Accenture
Celia de Anca, IE Director of Diversity and IE Director of the Center for Diversity in Global Management
- Isabel Guillén, Doctor of Traumatology at CEMTRO Clinic specializing in techology and medical innovation
- Marta Esteve, CEO, Rentalia and Top Rural
- Francisco Polo, CEO, Change.org
- Alejandra Sanchez Ramade, CEO and Founder, Bonnet a Pompon
- Fernando Encinar, Co-founder, Idealista.com
- María Eizaguirre, Marketing Director, IE University