Research

The Case for Women conducts ongoing research into the presence and portrayal of women in prominent business school case papers.

We record and analyse the gender balance of characters present in competition-winning papers awarded by the Case Centre. We consider how our future corporate leaders are impacted by the extensive use of gender-biased teaching material.

 


Background

As a Masters EMCCC student at INSEAD, Lesley noticed the lack of females present in the case study papers. This lead her to complete her highly-acclaimed Master's thesis 'Where are the Women Leaders? Invisible selves: writing women leaders into business school case papers'. With seven years of research collated to date, the picture hasn't changed much since her years at INSEAD. Lesley aims to increase the presence of females in case papers by publicising her research and supporting business schools and corporations who wish to effect change in their organisations.


The Symons Test

Lesley adapted the Bechdel Test to analyse the cases in her research. The Bechdel Test is used to measure the active presence of female characters in Hollywood films. The test is:

“One, it has to have at least two women in it, who, Two, talk to each other about, Three, something besides a man.”

Lesley renamed her version the Symons Test, with the rule being that a case:

“One, it has to have one woman in it, who, Two, is in a leadership position (the protagonist in this research), Three, who talks to another woman about the business.”


Latest Research

Our most recent research looks at women's presence in award-winning and best-selling case papers from 2009 - 2015. Published in Harvard Business Review in March 2016, you can find the full article here: Only 11% of Top Business School Case Studies Have a Female Protagonist


Case Papers with Female Protagonists

See the links below for cases with females as the lead. We'd love to add more cases to our collection. If you would like to submit a case paper with a female protagonist then please use our Contact Form to send us the details.



Case Reference



Case Paper


9-116-023
708-462
UVA-QA-0696
UVA-QA-0765
9-495-031
9-507-016
701-120
UVA-F-1589
9-414-019
UVA-E-0265
UVA-E-0073
UVA-F-1728
9-508-047
UVA-M-0876
UVA-F-1647
UVA-F-1738
UVA-F-1591
UVA-F-1687
UVA-QA-0546 
UVA-QA-0547 
UVA-QA-0268
9-906-414
106-016-1
UVA-GEM-0134
UVA-GEM-0139
UVA-ENT-0102
UVA-C-2352
UVA-F-1614
4357
9-114-082
UVA-C-2168
UVA-C-2160
UVA-F-1636
UVA-QA-0582
9-313-107
9-413-003
4212
UVA-F-1353
UVA-OM-1479
9-202-027
 9-314-055
UVA-M-0873
9-913-554
 9-587-055
9-912-011
UVA-F-1630
UVA-BC-0262
9-514-026
UVA-OB-1046
9-392-032
UVA-F-1710
UVA-C-2140
9-416-015
4269
UVA-E-0407
UVA-OM-1452
603-002-1
A CHALLENGER'S STRATEGY: PINAR ABAY AT ING BANK TURKEY
ANALYZING RELATIVE COSTS
BIDDING FOR THE LEGACY HOTEL
CAPRICA ENERGY AND ITS CHOICES
CHARLOTTE BEERS AT OGIVLY & MATHER WORLDWIDE (A)
CLOCKY: THE RUNAWAY ALARM CLOCK
COMPETITOR ANALYSIS:  ANTICIPATING COMPETITIVE ACTIONS
CROCS, INC.
CYNTHIA CARROLL AT ANGLO AMERICAN (A)
DANVILLE AIRLINES
DAVIS PRESS AND MECCAN MADNESS
DISCOUNTED CASH FLOW ANALYSIS
DOVE: EVOLUTION OF A BRAND
E-CIGARETTES: THE WILD, WILD WEST
GLOBAL ASSET ALLOCATION: CRUDE CALCULATIONS
GLOBAL ASSET ALLOCATION: INVESTING IN A TIME OF DEBT, DEFICITS, AND QUANTITATIVE EASING
GLOBAL ASSET ALLOCATION: WHITHER THE U.S. DOLLAR?
GUNA FIBRES, LTD.
HIGH PLACES STUDIO (A)
HIGH PLACES STUDIO (B)
HIGHTOWER DEPARTMENT STORES: IMPORTED STUFFED ANIMALS
IKEA'S GLOBAL SOURCING CHALLENGE: INDIAN RUGS AND CHINA LABOR (A)
INFINITY BANK (A): RETAIL BRANCHES AND CUSTOMER PROFITABILITY
JANET YELLEN: NAVIGATING UNCHARTED WATERS
JANET YELLEN: TIME TO TIGHTEN?
JENNIFER PARKS AT PILLARPOINT HOME LOANS: DEVELOPING A NEW GROWTH INITIATIVE
JUDY GENT--INVENTORY
KELLY SOLAR
LEVENDARY CAFE: THE CHINA CHALLENGE
MANAGING CHANGE AT AXIS BANK (A)
MARGE NORMAN AND MINISCRIBE CORPORATION
MAVERICK LODGING
MEDFIELD PHARMACEUTICALS
MERCK & COMPANY: PRODUCT KL-798
MONIQUE LEROUX: LEADING CHANGE AT DESJARDINS
NAINA LAL KIDWAI: INVESTING IN HER COUNTRY
NEW HERITAGE DOLL COMPANY: CAPITAL BUDGETING
NIKE, INC: COST OF CAPITAL
NOBULL BURGER
OCEAN CARRIERS
PEPSICO, PROFITS, AND FOOD: THE BELT TIGHTENS
PROGRESSIVE INSURANCE: MAKING PAY AS YOU DRIVE A SNAP FOR CONSUMERS
ROBIN ASH AND PRINTZHOF PRESS
ROHM AND HAAS (A): NEW PRODUCT MARKETING STRATEGY
SAMASOURCE: GIVE WORK, NOT AID
SUN MICROSYSTEMS
SUSTAINABILITY AT THE COCA-COLA COMPANY IN A NEW ERA OF BRAND BUILDING
SUSTAINABILITY AT SIEMENS
TEAM CONFLICT: THE "CHATTY" ACCUSATION AT THE CUSTOMER SUPPORT CALL CENTER
THE BODY SHOP INTERNATIONAL 
THE COST OF CAPITAL: PRINCIPLES AND PRACTICE
THE HORIZON INSURANCE AGENCY
THE TRANSFORMATION OF MUDO
UNITED CEREAL: LORI BRILL'S EUROBRAND CHALLENGE
USING A FRAMEWORK TO CREATE BETTER CHOICES
ZAPPOS CUSTOMER LOYALTY TEAM
ZARA

These case papers can be ordered from The Case Centre by following the link here.