The Universidad Europea de Madrid organizing the Leaders for Change meeting on diversity and effective inclusion

Pablo Pineda, the world’s leading figure in inclusive education, and Laura Martínez, an expert on policies that favor gender diversity, also took part in the meeting.

The Villaviciosa de Odón Campus hosted the Leaders for Change meeting on November 8, which dealt with issues such as diversity and effective inclusion. The initiative is an annual meeting along the same lines as Here For Good and Global Days of Service for debating the role of organizations in social change, through the first-hand accounts and experience of leaders who are having a positive impact on their communities. As highlighted by Conrado Briceño, President of the Universidad Europea, while introducing the event, “we have an obligation to educate our students and raise awareness of the need for social change, placing emphasis on diversity, learning from it and embracing it.”

The current edition of Leaders for Change dedicated the event to potential for diversity and effective inclusion from leaders and persons with experience in the field. TheUniversidad Europea, as part of its commitment to creating a forum for discussion on the topic of social responsibility from the field of higher education, wanted to provide a platform for its students by means of a round table chaired by Sonia Escorial, head of the Managing Diversity Unit, and who concluded that “a more inclusive university requires several lines of action in terms of educating, providing educational support and raising awareness”. The first special guest, Pablo Pineda, the first university graduate from the European Union, took advantage of his involvement to share his personal and professional quest to overcome limitations with the audience, reminding them that "the two leaders for bringing about social change are universities and companies.”

In turn, the next guest, Laura Martínez Álvaro, an expert on gender and director of the advisory service Break the Gap, which is accredited by UN Women, spoke in detail to the university attendees about the quest for implementing policies in favor of gender diversity. The Break the Gap director and expert stated that “diversity is variety, and this is what distinguishes us from other people”, pointing to the existence of obvious elements of diversity such as sex, race or certain disabilities, and those that are not obvious such as sexual orientation, inclusion etc., and explained that “We need to think and reflect without labeling in order to build a better immediate environment, and a fairer and more humane society.”