santiagoBy Santiago Iñiguez de Onzoño, Dean of IE Business School and President of IE University

We can’t innovate without being diverse and inclusive,” (1), explained Denise Young Smith, Apple’s Worldwide Human Resources president, when the company announced it was to invest $50 million in not-for-profit organisations that promote the integration of women, minorities and older people into the technology sector. The news came out the same week Apple unveiled its smart watch, and is just one of many such initiatives some Silicon Valley companies are undertaking to increase diversity, particularly in terms of hiring more women.

Using data on the number of women and minorities employed by tech companies at all levels, in early 2015 Fortune magazine (2) compiled a list ranking LinkedIn, Apple, and EBay in the first three positions respectively, followed by Cisco, Hewlett Packard, and Microsoft at the bottom in 12th, 13th, and 14th places. As was reported widely when the survey was published, the majority of people working in the tech sector are still white American and Asian males.

The same picture emerges in many other sectors where innovation is also a key factor in generating value. For example: women make up the majority in education overall, but in the tertiary sector, and particularly the upper echelons of universities, diversity falls off rapidly. (3)

Talking to CEOs, CLOs, and my fellow deans of business schools, one of their main concerns when recruiting new staff is how to promote diversity in their organisations, particularly in key leadership positions. A 2014 Forbes survey on diversity notes: “When it comes to the strategy and implementation of a diversity program, responsibility for the success of company’s diversity/inclusion efforts lies with senior management.” (4) In the same report, 69 percent of multinationals surveyed had committees or boards whose job was to supervise diversity strategies and initiatives. The CEO was a member of these diversity committees in 61 percent of cases, while in 72 percent of them, so was the head of human resources. In the opinion of all those questioned, responsibility for promoting diversity in companies is the responsibility of the CEO or the head of human resources. Read more…


Presentacion libro “Diálogos sobre Europa”

Written on April 17, 2015 by Fernando Dameto Zaforteza in International Relations

54f383bfadfa9_800x533El jueves 23 de abril el Embajador de la república Argentina ante la república de Portugal Jorge Argüello, presentará el libro “Diálogos sobre Europa” sobre los desafíos y oportunidades de la Unión Europa desde una perspectiva sudamericana.

Gonzalo Garland profesor de economía del IE Business School moderará el evento y compartirá su visión sobre la situación económica del bloque.

Invitado: Jorge Argüello
Moderador: Profesor Gonzalo Garland
Organizado: International Relations Club junto al Latin American Business Club del IE.

El Embajador Argüello fue representante de la Argentina ante las Naciones Unidas, donde también presidio al Grupo de los 77 y China, en Washington y actualmente en Portugal.

Esperamos contar con su participación el día jueves 23 de abril a las 6 pm en María de Molina 31, aula 101. Luego del evento se servirá un vino de cortesía.


Diversity policies: how to stop flirting and commit

Written on April 15, 2015 by Santiago Iñiguez in IE Business School, IE University

santiagoBy Santiago Iñiguez de Onzoño, Dean of IE Business School and President of IE University

Recent literature on diversity policies in business has tended to focus on the benefits in terms of innovation, creativity, a better working environment, lower staff turnover rates, access to a broader cross-section of potential employees, and reaching out to more stakeholders. One oft-cited source is a 2007 survey by consultants McKinsey(1) which showed that publicly traded companies with a higher number of women on their boards had better ROE (11.4 percent) than the average in their respective sectors (10.3 percent).

Nevertheless, some analysts have questioned the science behind these conclusions, suggesting that the cause and effect between adopting diversity practices and ROE has not been fully established. For example, perhaps there is more direct causal relationship between the size of a company and its growth rate and concomitant ROE. As it happens, there is a higher percentage of women in medium-sized companies than in large corporations: we might perhaps conclude therefore that the relationship between ROE in medium-sized companies and greater gender diversity is circumstantial rather than causal. (2)

I raise these points because it is important to understand the reasons for implementing diversity policies in a company. In most cases, there are two main arguments for doing so:

The business case: in short, diversity policies are beneficial for companies both in economic terms and in less tangible areas. This approach is supposedly more “scientific”, given that it is based on empirical evidence of the impact of diversity on companies’ financial results.

The moral case: This line of reasoning argues that directors should encourage diversity in their companies as a way of promoting greater equality in the business and wider worlds. In other words, such policies are the outcome of moral and ethical decisions, regardless of what the economic impact on a company might be, although obviously, the hope is that it will be positive.

Most of the CEOs and CLOs I know subscribe both to the moral and business cases, using them to validate their diversity initiatives. They try to find evidence of the profitability of such measures and need to show their shareholders that they have direct positive influences on their companies’ activities. If they couldn’t justify these positive outcomes they would find it very hard to impose diversity policies.

But as said, hard evidence of the relationship between implementing diversity policies and a healthier bottom line is elusive, and studies supporting this tend to be anecdotal or circumstantial.

Something similar happens when we try to establish links between corporate social responsibility (CSR) policies and a company’s annual financial results. The problem, as several surveys have highlighted, is that it simply isn’t possible to establish a definitive causal relationship between the two because most of the time, it is precisely the most profitable companies that tend to implement CSR programs, rather than the other way round. In other words, it might be argued that adopting CSR measures is actually an effect of a company’s profitability rather than the cause. Read more…


JennyIkuta“Be yourself!” “Think outside of the box.” “Don’t just follow the crowd.” Such phrases pervade our culture, encouraging us to value individuality and creativity, and to resist conformity. However, recent research in social psychology has shown that in practice, we are averse to and at times, even hostile to people who ‘stick out’ from crowds, reject the status quo, and do something new.

The fascination with individuality and creativity is not new, of course, and these traits were of great interest to nineteenth century thinkers such as John Stuart Mill and Friedrich Nietzsche. However, unlike today’s psychologists, they attributed the absence of individuality and creativity to modern democracy.

This talk focuses on Mill’s concern, connections to Nietzsche’s thought will also be made, that democratic society corrupts individuality, how he sees conformity as a problem and individuality as an important part of the life well-lived and how he  thinks that democracy is unique as a regime type in discouraging individuality and encouraging conformity.

Jennie Ikuta is the IE-Brown International Teaching Fellow for 2014-2015. She received her BA from the University of Chicago (2007) and her PhD from Brown University (2014). She is currently at work on her book manuscript based on her dissertation, titled Democracy and the Quest for Human Flourishing: A Study of Mill and Nietzsche.

The conference will take place on Wednesday, May 6th 2015, 6pm at room MMB-102 (Maria de Molina 31 Bis)

If you wish to attend to the lectura please register here



“Some Keys to the Israeli/Palestinian Conflict and a Solution”

Mr. Musa Amer Odeh , Palestinian Ambassador to Spain

Wednesday, April 15, 19:00 at Aula Magna (MM11)

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