Sponsored by the Junta of Castile and León, the ¨Women and Sports¨contest is organized by IE University’s Gender Equality Office and IE University Athletics

To encourage the inclusion of women in sports, especially during early childhood and youth, IE University is launching the first-ever “Women and Sports” Drawing Contest, open to high-school students in Segovia. The contest, which is sponsored by the Junta of Castile and León, is organized by IE University’s Gender Equality Office and IEU Athletics, the institution’s sports department.

Until March 12, Segovia students will be able to submit one drawing each, which must portray their view of the role of women in sports. The organization is offering a first, second, and third prize for each of the contest’s four categories. The rules also state that the students are free to choose the drawing technique, and the format is DIN A4. The full contest rules are available here.

The contest jury is made up of Marta Ortiz, public relations officer of the IEU Girl Up Club; Alba Vázquez, executive director of IEU Women; José Félix Valdivieso, special advisor to the Office of the President; Carlos Redondo, coordinator of the IE Creativity Center; Jesús Pascual, a member of IE University’s Communications Department; Juan Barrio, director of the IEU Athletics Department; Teresa Olombrada, a student and captain of IE University’s soccer team and Soraya Polanco, coordinator of IE University’s Gender Equality Office.

women in sport


IE University’s Gender Quality Office also organized a roundtable called “IE University: Women and Sports” with the aim of encouraging women to play sports. This panel took place at the television studio on IE University’s campus, and several professional female athletes were present. The roundtable was moderated by Teresa Olombrada, a third-year Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor in International Relations student and captain of IE University’s soccer team. Participants included Ángela del Pan, a former member of the Spanish Rugby 7s and XV teams and high-performance technical coordinator of the Spanish Rugby Federation; Estela García Rodero, selected Best Goalkeeper in the World at the Futsal Awards 2017; Cristina de Jesús Sen, a Castile and León first division basketball referee, and Beatriz Provencio Regidor, the Spanish Kickboxing Federation (FEKM) 2019 champion in the musical forms category.

These activities are a part of IE University’s International Women’s Month, which is being held during the entire month of March and includes a broad offering of activities. Its goal is to promote gender equality and to work to raise awareness around the role of professional women. International participants include Mary Beard, a classical history expert and recipient of the Princess of Asturias Award, and renowned Indian writer and editor Namita Gokhale, among others.


The first-ever “Women and Sports” Drawing Contest is a part of the year-round activities of IE University’s Gender Equality Office, coordinated by Soraya Polanco. Its aim is to promote equality in educational environments as well as to raise awareness around and prevent gender violence, both in university and school environments.

“Guaranteeing diversity and equal opportunities is one of IE University’s priorities. A clear example is the presence of women at our university: women make-up 39% of professors, 69% of staff and 48% of students, and belong to more than 140 nationalities,” Polanco says.

On the other hand, IE University Sports Director Juan Barrio highlights the widespread involvement of women in university sports. “IE University currently has female soccer, basketball, volleyball, tennis, padel, and hockey teams, as well as an active cheerleader team. Our student body also includes women competing in sports such as track and field, equestrianism, rock climbing, golf, swimming, badminton, and boxing,” Barrio notes. He points out that “all of the tournaments we organize are gender-mixed to promote the integration of men and women.”

women in sports

Polanco also recalls that IE University is a member of the Castile and León University Equality Network, which includes both public and private institutions, founded in July 2020 and sponsored by the Ministry of Families and Equal Opportunities of the Junta of Castile and León.  IE University was a pioneer in setting up a “Punto Violeta” (purple point), a space to provide attention and information on gender equality, at its campus library. In 2020, this undertaking was recognized by the American Library Association (ALA), the oldest library association in the world, as one of the best library practices in the world.