The Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) has formalised an agreement to promote the Leadership and Diversity Chair with the #CEOPorLaDiversidad (#CEOForDiversity) Alliance, developed by the Adecco Foundation and the CEOE Foundation, which is already supported by 91 CEOs of large companies. This initiative will promote the reciprocal transfer of knowledge between the University and the business world, through research activities, training activities and transfer and outreach initiatives related to the subject.
The agreement was signed by Ángel Arias, UC3M Rector; Antonio Garamendi, president of the CEOE; Fátima Báñez, president of the CEOE Foundation; and Enrique Sánchez, president of the Adecco Foundation. The head of the Chair is UC3M lecturer, Carmen Paz Aparicio, Senior Lecturer of Business Organisation at UC3M.
University and business: the multiplying win-win effect
The Chair is currently oriented towards a strategic topic for companies, in that diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) policies and the committent to inclusive leadership occupy a prominent place on the business agenda. Therefore, organisations are increasingly aware that having inclusive leaders, who value and take advantage of workforce diversity and all stakeholders, allows them to understand society’s needs, making more conscious, responsible and sustainable decisions.
The added value of this initiative is based on the fact that university-business collaboration produces an indisputable symbiosis. Firstly, the University will offer students experiences and learning that will train them in innovative visions of diversity, equity and inclusion and leadership - fundamental pillars of the business world - while companies will have the opportunity to be closer to the source of knowledge, drawing on university research in order to continue progressing in their strategies. In this way, the implementation of this Chair will produce a win-win effect with great potential to accelerate and provide greater specificity to leadership and diversity policies, amplifying results and progressing in the proposed objectives. For its development, a multidisciplinary team will be created from the academic and business spheres, made up of highly reputable professionals, who will contribute different perspectives and experiences.
The UC3M Rector, Ángel Arias, emphasised that the creation of this Chair allows for the creation of a "custom" ecosystem of interaction and collaboration between UC3M, the CEOE, the CEOE Foundation and the Adecco Foundation, which implies the development of a set of actions that will benefit all of the institutions involved. He also added that "leadership and diversity represent one of the fundamental and transversal pillars of the strategy of business organisations today. The Chair will serve as a platform to develop research activities of common interest, will facilitate the development of knowledge and excellence and will have a social impact".
The professor who will direct the Chair, Carmen Paz-Aparicio, thanked the signatories for all of their support and trust and pointed out that "it is a source of joy for UC3M and, of course, for me that the main entity representing companies in Spain, the CEOE, shares the interest in the development and execution of this initiative, as well as the achievement of its goals, committing itself to its support and promotion". Finally, she added that "this Chair on Leadership and Diversity, framed within the CEOPorlaDiversity (CEOForDiversity) Alliance, is a dream come true, working and collaborating directly with the leaders of the most important companies in our country, which constitutes an excellent platform for knowledge transfer between the university, the business world and our society".
Meanwhile, the president of the CEOE, Antonio Garamendi, emphasised the importance of "continuing to make progress in the creation of spaces for collaboration and in the alliance between the business and academic worlds, so that companies can give the best of themselves to society, in this case combining research, leadership and inclusion as gateways towards progress".
Along the same lines, the president of the CEOE Foundation, Fátima Báñez, has assured that this chair "represents another step in the CEO for Diversity Alliance" and "an investment in excellence, in science and in talent to grow from rigour and keep this project at the forefront in Europe". "One more example that shows that companies think big, bringing business and the university closer together for Spanish society," she added.
Enrique Sánchez said: "This initiative is an excellent opportunity to accelerate the much-needed rapprochement between the business world and the university environment. By uniting the strengths of both agents, we promote an environment of collaboration and mutual enrichment that will provide a more academic approach to the diversity and leadership policies that we have been proposing and developing in the Alliance since 2019, while at the same time boosting the education and training of future professionals in such strategic and relevant dimensions for companies. The fact that the #CEOPorLaDiversity (#CEOForDiversity) Alliance is made up of 91 committed CEOs and their operational teams, gives a high profile to this Chair, which will be able to advance with its goals, sponsored by people who believe in diversity and who strive to exercise inclusive leadership".
Research, training and knowledge transfer
The Leadership and Diversity Chair will be structured around three main lines of action: research activities, training activities and initiatives for the transfer and dissemination of the knowledge generated.
In terms of research, an Ideas Laboratory will be set up to identify strategic study areas, promoting the preparation of reports and studies, research projects that will lead to articles in scientific publications, as well as the organisation of national and/or international congresses, where work focused on leadership and diversity will be presented.
In terms of training, activities will be developed to train students and teachers in leadership and diversity. Work will also be done to improve the skills of business leaders in this field. To this end, training scholarships will be promoted for the completion of doctoral theses related to the Chair, awards will be created for research work, postgraduate programmes or training courses for management teams and business leaders.
In addition, among other activities, competitions to generate ideas will be promoted among students, with the mission of improving leadership and diversity in companies. Finally, the knowledge generated in the Chair will be shared through transfer and outreach activities such as conferences, round tables, press releases and media calls, etc. The Chair will also create its own website with different profiles on social networks, which will be managed by a scholarship holder, responsible for its coordination and management.
UC3M is a Spanish public university that excels in research, teaching and innovation. It is among the best universities in the world in the QS World University Rankings 2024 and among the best universities for the employability of its graduates, according to the latest edition of the Times Higher Education (THE) Global University Employability Ranking. UC3M is the first university in Europe to obtain ACEEU dual accreditation for its contribution and impact on the industrial and social fabric, and it also has other accreditations and quality awards, such as the EUR-ACE seal in the field of engineering or the AACSB accreditation in business and finance programmes.
About the #CEOPorLaDiversidad Alliance
This Alliance, led by the Adecco Foundation and the CEOE Foundation, aims to unite the CEOs of the main companies in Spain around a common and innovative vision of diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I), acting as drivers and ambassadors to help accelerate the development of strategies that contribute to business excellence, talent competitiveness in Spain and the reduction of inequality and exclusion in Spanish society.