The Coca-Cola case, an inclusive approach

This case is available at The Case Centre with reference no. 416-0106-1.

In 2015 Tess Melaert looks back on her journey within the multinational Coca-Cola Enterprises and remembers an exciting international career. She realizes that she was lucky to spend the last 15 years working for an organization that is committed to gender equality, and she wishes to act as a role model for other female talent, not only within her own inclusive organizational culture but also beyond.

In the case we give an overview of the diversity evolution that Coca-Cola Enterprises has gone through, and the different phases that the organization knew before reaching an inclusive organizational culture. This gives us the opportunity to encourage a debate regarding inclusive leadership and professional gender equality, specifically meant for women who have the ambition to obtain a middle to senior management position.

On the one hand, this case allows us to list the different barriers that women encounter when building a career. On the other hand, it allows us to offer a number of insights and examples of how to achieve a more inclusive organizational culture, knowing that gender initiatives need to be linked to the organizations degree of readiness for inclusion.

Learning objectives:
  • To set up a debate on the role and impact of an organizational culture regarding gender equality, and what it exactly means.
  • To discuss the different maturity stages in which an organization may be situated, and the impact of these phases on the initiatives implemented in the organizations.
  • To decide on the impact of the role of both the organization's top management and its employees, in order to guarantee the success of gender initiatives.
  • To discuss possible measures to increase the number of women at the level of middle management and to discuss the importance of unconscious biases, and their impact on women's behaviour.
  • To think about the possibility to evolve from initiatives, specifically aimed at women, to actions aimed at the entire workforce, in order to achieve an inclusive organizational culture.

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