Case competitions are crucial components of a business student's development of highly sought after skills such as creativity, strategic thinking, confidence, teamwork, and public speaking. During the week of competition, a company proposes a current challenge that their business is facing and students must prepare possible solutions to help the company, which are delivered via professional presentations. Some past sponsors of McCombs Case Competitions include Ernst & Young, AT&T, ConocoPhillips, Target, and several start-ups looking for fresh perspectives on their toughest ideas. The McCombs School of Business student organizations sponsor around 5-10 case competitions every year, including company-directed case competitions.
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Interestingly, there is a consistent skewed gender ratio, which undermines the competitions. 50% of business students are women, yet only 29% of case competition participants are women.
Why the lack of women representation?
2015 Business Honors and Marketing Alumna, Angela Morisette, and 2015 Finance Alumna, Allie Koenig, alongside the Director of BBA Student Life, Stephanie Hinojosa-Galvan, interviewed previous competition participants and non-participants. They found potential causes for this lack of representation were self-doubt, lack of experience amongst students, and that the intensity and duration of the case competitions were not a good fit for most. With this knowledge in hand, Stephanie, Angela, and Allie designed the first women-only case competition nationwide.
The 2017 National Women's Case Competition is hosted by The University of Texas at Austin McCombs School of Business with collaboration from Women in Business Association, the Undergraduate Business Council, and Graduate Women in Business, with support of the McCombs Office of Student Life.