People in office around table

Case writing competition: The Case for Women

ISSN: 2732-4443

In partnership with The Case for Women and Forté, we have launched a case study competition focused on the female case protagonist. Entries are now open for October 2020.

Women in case studies

The aim of this competition is to encourage and promote the development of high-quality teaching case material that positively represents real women in leadership positions in the workplace.

Having 10 years of research on award-winning case papers, Lesley Symons of The Case for Women showed that women protagonists are present in only 11% of award-winning case papers. She developed the Symons Test which is used to assess the presence of women in case papers:

  • Does it have a woman in it?
  • Is she the protagonist?
  • Does she speak to another woman about the business?

Only 4% of the case papers researched met all three of the rules. 

More about Lesley's research

The award

The total prize fund for the collection is $10,000. Prizes are awarded to the overall winner and two runners-up.

Key criteria

Man sat in modern cosy office on phone whilst working on laptop at desk

Develop your skills and knowledge

Register on our Cases Hub, where you can complete a course on writing a case study and teaching note, and download our handy how-to guides.

Contact us

If you have any questions about the case study competition, contact our cases publisher, Gabi Rundle

Email Gabi

Frequently asked questions

Can I submit as part of a team or as a single author?

It can be either, we have no limits on who can submit, it can be a group of authors, or a single author.

Are there restrictions on the gender ratio of the authors?

No, we have no restrictions as to who can submit in terms of their gender.

Where will the case be published?

The case will be published by Emerald in a collection called "The case for women" in our eCase collection. Find out more information. On acceptance, we will ask authors to complete a non-exclusive license form, which means you keep the copyright to the content, and it can be published elsewhere.

Can the female protagonist be part of a team where there are also men?

Yes absolutely. We just don't want the case to focus on a single woman surrounded by exclusively male characters. The author guidelines ask for a roughly even split between genders of named characters in the case, and that the female protagonist must speak to another woman in the case about the business.

Who needs to complete the case study consent form?

If primary research has been carried out, the consent form needs to be signed by a director or member of HR at the organisation where the research was undertaken.

What if I can't get case study consent?

We can allow cases to be disguised in some circumstances, but only when this is the only option, and only if the case follows real events that are disguised, not made up. Cases based on secondary data do not require case study consent and so these would not need to be anonymised.

Can I submit a case study that’s on my institution's repository?

If the case is only on your institution's website, not published elsewhere, and doesn’t have an ISSN registered to it, you are welcome to submit this to the competition.

Can the case study be about a woman facing a specific business dilemma that’s not directly related to gender?

The paper doesn't need to focus on a dilemma related to gender, it can be any business dilemma. However, the teaching note should include a discussion around gender issues in the case.

Can the female protagonist be part of a family business?

Ideally, the cases should not focus on the 4F industries "food, fashion, family, and furniture", as this is where we typically see more female protagonists, but this is not a requirement.

Related topics

Cases competitions

We partner with various organisations around the world to offer a range of case writing competitions. Explore our case competitions to find out more.

Explore case competitions

Emerging Markets Case Studies

Our emerging markets teaching cases are published as a collection. Learn about publishing your case study, or view the table of contents and a sample article.

Browse this publication