IE dual degree students win second place in Deloitte’s Young WoMen Challenge
Students partaking a Dual Degree in Business Administration and Laws participated in this year’s Deloitte Young WoMen Challenge and won second place with their proposal, D-Journey, an e-learning platform that aims to improve gender balance in the working environment.
Students from the Dual Degree in Business Administration and Laws, Mickie Guinea Oyamburu, Sarah Sandretto and Cristina Alejandra Fiorillo, decided to take part in this year’s Deloitte’s Young WoMen Challenge.
Since 2015, this event has sought to champion female roles in audit, tax, and consulting, providing innovative ideas on how to improve gender balance in the working environment. This year, the firm has broadened the scope of the challenge with the aim to foster the participants reflection on more general Diversity related subjects.
We spoke with Mickie, Sarah and Cristina to find out more about their project and what they learned from participating in the challenge.
We started working on the project in February and the final took place on March 26.
There were three selection phases: the first one consisted of a video talking about our solution and the second one consisted of drafting a report and presentation. Only four teams made it to the final stage, and we were awarded second place.
What was your proposal?
Since 2015, Deloitte has carried the Young WoMen Challenge to improve gender balance in the workplace through innovative ideas. This year’s challenge was focused on Diversity. As a team we chose the question of: “How can Technology help a firm enhancing Diversity & Inclusion in the workplace?”
We decided to focus on the root of the problem in a company: the recruitment and selection process. Tackling the problem from its base, allowed us to find a more effective solution towards a more inclusive environment.
Our innovative and creative solution was called D-Journey: an unbiased and virtual world of interaction. It is free, online and open. Everyone can have access to it.
“Equality has not yet been achieved and as a woman and future leader, I understand the importance of taking this issue at my hands and contributing to change. We need to able to see differences coming from a diverse background as valuable assets for innovation and performance, rather than as factors that drift us apart. Being part of this challenge showed me how creative and innovative we can be when we recognise that there is still work to be done and that it is up to us to do something about it”, said Cristina Alejandra Fiorillo.
Tell us more about D-Journey.
D-Journey is a digital E-learning world that ensures inclusion and diversity in the application process by bringing candidates to the same preparation level to be competitive applicants at Deloitte. In D-Journey, candidates interact through a neutral avatar, who moves around the world to further their analytical skills through interactive learning.
The avatar also learns about Deloitte’s core values, which are a fundamental part of the company, and will provide the applicants with a full knowledge of the spirit of the firm. Each virtual D-Journey building will resemble one of Deloitte’s world offices. It will also recreate the company’s working culture to enhance motivation and a sense of belonging.
The goal is that every applicant who goes through the D-Journey to develope and practice on the needed skills to be a competitive candidate at Deloitte, putting them at the same preparation level to face the first selection filter, regardless of their previous background opportunities.
All avatars who finish the journey will be ready to take the company’s initial exam, empowering candidates in a meritocratic way.
They also take a digital exam as “blind candidates”, ensuring a primary level of objective and unbiased selection in the recruitment process, before moving on to the next stage. By dealing with this bias, an objective candidate selection is enhanced which in hand promotes diversity and tackles misrepresentation in the workplace.
What would you highlight from the experience?
This challenge was such an enriching experience as we learned that having a diverse workspace of both women and men with different backgrounds can lead to a greater variety of perspectives and to an increase in creativity, which ultimately boosts the company’s productivity. We also learned about the significant role that technology can have in fostering equality and diversity in the workplace, allowing us to forgo many important barriers of today’s dynamics and practice in the working environment.