On October 16, 2013, the Harvard Business School taught the International Women's Coffee Alliance (IWCA) case study written by Oxford Doctorial Candidate, Mary Johnstone-Louis. In May of this year the case was taught at Oxford to business owners, policy makers, and others. The HBS experience challenged 900+ eager first-year MBA students to deepen their understanding of the current challenges that women in coffee face. While women often serve as the major workforce in harvest and production, fewer women are involved in trade or decision-making roles, therefore providing less economic stability. The students had to consider the need to utilize marketing as a means of social change. Harvard professors led students through such questions as: Should the IWCA consider creating a gender-friendly brand to help advance its mission in elevating women in the supply chain? What are the benefits and roadblocks? Who are the potential partners?
The students shared their analysis and recommendations on the topic, debating pros and cons and offering detailed solutions to solving the problem. IWCA representatives offered their perspective to the students based on their roles across the global supply chain. They also shared further insight about the organization and its global 15 chapter network in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Students were pleased to gain the perspective from IWCA representatives and learn more about our work.
IWCA was represented by:
Jennifer Gallegos - IWCA Board Director/Business Development Director Coffee, Fair Trade USA
Phyllis Johnson - IWCA Vice President/President & Co-Founder BD Imports
Desiree Logsdon - IWCA President/VP of Marketing, Bunn-O-Matic Corp.
Sharon Riechers - IWCA CFO/Director of Governance, Risk & Compliance Bunn-O-Matic Corp.
Margaret Swallow - IWCA Co-Founder/Independent Consultant
Kelle Vandenburg – IWCA Board Director / Director of Marketing & Sales Pacific Bag Inc.