This year, the Wisconsin School of Business sent a team to compete in the University of Notre Dame’s Diversity Case Competition, which had an emphasis on Gender Dynamics within the consulting industry – sponsored by Ernst & Young. The Wisconsin MBA team, appropriately named Femmes du Monde, consisted of 4 MBA students: Abena Afriyie (CBPM Class of 2015), Ridhima Choubey (OTM Class of 2016), Kelly Goldthorpe (ACN Class of 2015), and Jackie Swoyer (CBPM Class of 2016). The team was given one week to build a recruitment strategy to increase the pipeline of women in a global consulting firm, specifically targeting MBAs, Veterans, and senior management-level women.
In order to create a compelling and actionable strategy for the competition, Team Femmes du Monde focused on primary research and performed deep-dive interviews with women in consulting and adjacent industries at various points in their careers. The team also conducted secondary research to understand the best practices within both consulting and adjacent fields. Ultimately, the ladies of Femmes du Monde were able to identify key barriers of entry for women considering consulting, as well as recommend an action plan for their firm to directly address these issues. The end product offered direct recommendations on how to mitigate concerns around work/life balance as well as how to ensure that work environments are inclusive at all levels. Once an initial strategy was prepared, the team continued with preparation by soliciting feedback from Binnu Hill, WSOB Director of Diversity & Climate and esteemed Marketing Professor, Jan Heide. The team also presented to the University of Wisconsin-Madison Diversity Council, which consists of all Committee Chairs of Diversity across the university. After gathering and incorporating all feedback, the team sent in the presentation and headed to South Bend to compete.
There were 12 teams in the competition, with a total of 6 schools represented: Wisconsin, Notre Dame, Michigan State, University of Michigan, Purdue and Indiana. Despite competing against viable competitors, Team Femmes du Monde was successful and won 1st place in the competition! The feedback from the judges was that the team did a great job of humanizing the key targets, creating a strategic framework to address key tension points, and building actionable tools to measure year over year success.
Since the competition, Team Femmes du Monde has been able to engage with other students who are interested in case competitions. Most recently, the team presented their winning case and offered tips and advice to students of the MBA Consulting Club, Graduate Women in Business, and Diversity Club.
Team Femmes du Monde could not be more excited to bring home this win for the Wisconsin MBA, and hopes there will be another team from Wisconsin in the competition next year!