(From left to right: Carl Burlock, Export Development Canada; HEC team, Ben Mansoura, Amandine Michaud, Niki Parassidis, Abdelghani Zniber; Michel Brazeau, Deloitte)

On March 4th and 5th 2016, the Telfer School of Management, in partnership with Export Development Canada and Deloitte, hosted the first annual Diversity and Inclusion MBA Case Competition.

The rationale for this event, which addressed a topic not often found in typical MBA case competitions, was that despite the advances being made in promoting and integrating diversity in organizations, the fear of being different is still a common occurrence.  This case competition was conceived to highlight and explore current issues and potential solutions related to Diversity and Inclusion in contemporary organizations.

The MBA case competition included the following teams:

  • DeGroote School of Business McMaster University
  • HEC Université de Montreal
  • John Molson School of Busines Concordia University
  • Lazaridis School of Business & Economics Wilfrid Laurier
  • Odette School of Business University of Windsor
  • Ted Rogers School of Management Ryerson University
  • Telfer School of Management University of Ottawa

The team from HEC Montreal took home first place (pictured). Wilfred Laurier’s Lazaridis School of Business & Economics came in second and McMaster’s DeGroote School of Business third. 

“Given our global mandate, having a diverse and representative workforce is a strategic business advantage that is critical to EDC's success – now and in the future,” says Justine Hendricks, Vice President Loans Value Stream Transformation, EDC. “Sponsoring this competition provides an opportunity to demonstrate to future business leaders that diversity is critical for a trading nation like Canada, and therefore critical for its companies.”  

Kate Morican, Partner, Ontario Lead for Human Capital Services and National Lead for Strategic Transformation and Change Services at Deloitte, adds: “At Deloitte, our vision is to lead by building a culture through commitment and mutual accountability. A culture where all our people feel like they belong, feel free to live and work openly and understand that inclusion is core to who we are. Our Diversity and Inclusion journey is key to achieving this vision, and developing inclusive leaders is a key component of our journey. We commend our partners, Export Development Canada and the University of Ottawa for recognizing the importance of Diversity and Inclusion and taking the steps required to create a more inclusive and diverse community within their own organizations, while taking the time to educate others on diversity and inclusion and the tangible benefits which can be realized when one adopts a diverse and inclusive culture."

Abdelghani Zniber, member of the winning team from HEC Montréal, says: “This competition deals with a subject that has been getting traction recently. A competition on diversity and inclusion is a great initiative to further raise awareness about a topic that is unfortunately not taught in schools, but that MBA students will surely have to manage during their career.” Amandine Michaud adds: “The Diversity & Inclusion case competition hosted by the Telfer School of Management is one of its kind. It focuses on a strategic aspect of management that is oft forgotten and it prepares tomorrow’s leaders to help companies to survive and thrive in an increasingly competitive environment.”

In addition to the team competition, the event included a workshop on Unconscious Bias and a keynote by Bank of Montreal Senior Vice-President Justine Fedak on the practical issues along with her personal reflections related to Diversity and Inclusion in the workplace.

We thank all the schools for sending along excellent representatives for this competition.