Archivo del March, 2012

The Future Is Diversity

gaes 300x199 The Future Is DiversityI  recently had the pleasure of attending a panel discussion on equality as a safe bet for pioneering companies. Held as part of the 3rd GAES Equality Conference, the roundtable brought together several prominent experts from business and academia.

At the session, the speakers expressed several different points of view on the topic of gender equality in the business world. According to Conchita Gassó, president of the GAES Equality Committee, 70% of GAES employees are women. Ms. Gassó shared specific examples that show how equality in the workplace improves productivity and efficiency. Francina Vila, Councillor for Women and Civil Rights for the City of Barcelona, argued in favour of promoting co-responsibility, enabling companies to implement their own equality plans. The designer Rosa Clará noted that, although 80% of her employees are women, she still has a long way to go in terms of increasing the presence of women in her company’s upper management (33% women). Clinical psychologist and ESADE Lecturer Imma Puig, remarking that performance and equality should go hand-in-hand, proposed replacing the concept of “equality” with “equivalence among people”, which, she said, is more respectful of each individual’s uniqueness.

The panel also included Manel Giménez, Organisation and Personnel Director at GAES. Mr. Giménez discussed the equality and compatibility policies that GAES is applying in order to boost job satisfaction. He explained that the company has adopted policies such as flexible scheduling, telecommuting two days per week, and an anti-gender-discrimination plan featuring specific objectives such as increasing the number of women in executive posts.

The audience members had the chance to reflect on an interesting fact: that the promotion of diversity is, for companies, an investment and a commitment to the future. But why? Because innovation occurs in teams that are diverse. In other words, diversity is clearly a key driver of creativity and innovation in companies. To achieve diversity, however, companies must implement specific policies. Numerous pioneering companies – Microsoft, PricewaterhouseCoopers and many others – have done just that. The future is diversity.

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A Compulsory Appointment for Alumni

6940702333 3642f2f8ac b1 300x200 A Compulsory Appointment for AlumniOn the 23rd February we held the ESADE Alumni Annual Conference at Barcelona’s Fórum Auditorium. This year’s ESADE Awards were awarded to Mikael Ohlsson, CEO of IKEA, and Pablo Isla, CEO of Inditex, for the business successes achieved in heading their two organisations. During the conference, Javier Santiso, Director of ESADEgeo, gave a lecture on the opportunities of the new world map.

More than 3,000 people attended the event and we filled the Auditorium. Being an ESADE alumni, the ESADE Alumni Annual Conference is a must, an event that none of us can miss. To be one of thousands of people, who all share a close bond with ESADE, and who all gather under one roof, is an intense experience.

The professional achievements of the executives and entrepreneurs who meet at the Annual Conference are irrefutable proof of ESADE’s contribution to our country’s future. To belong to the ESADE community, either as students, faculty or alumni, is something to be proud of, but at the same time it obliges us to honour our values: personal integrity, professional rigour and social responsibility.

- Download the speech given at the ESADE Alumni Annual Conference (PDF)

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