CWEL’s Gender Film Initiative

Babson’s Center for Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership (CWEL) and The Empty Space Theatre (TEST) proudly present the first of a series of video vignettes designed to engage students in understanding gender at work.

Written and performed by Babson undergraduate students, these powerful vignettes capture scenarios utterly familiar—the assigning of a group project, the choosing of a group leader—and challenge viewers to analyze the ways in which power and privilege are distributed in peer situations. Accompanying each video vignette is a list of discussion questions the instructor may use to spark compelling conversations.

In line with CWEL’s goal to be the authority for gender-enlightened and inclusive business schools, this series is a resource for anyone interested in moving toward gender enlightenment and equality in education. Because we know that gender and other kinds of diversity enhance the performance and profitability of groups and companies, we offer this video as a resource to study and strategize. We look forward to your feedback!

Video One: Marketing Ethics Project

This video captures the start of a group project for undergraduate marketing students, their first brainstorming meeting about marketing for the fictional company, Casey’s Cakes. The video is designed to draw your attention to the power dynamics of student groups, and especially the ways these dynamics are informed by gender, race/ethnicity/nationality, and class. The questions below encourage you to analyze these dynamics, sparking conversation that will offer you a new lens on how and where gender is at work. Because we know that gender and other kinds of diversity enhance the performance and profitability of groups and companies, we offer this video as a resource to study and strategize.

  1. What dynamics of the group are immediately apparent as the students rearrange their chairs and begin to talk to each other? What tensions emerge and why?
  2. How do the words and actions of some group members suggest the inclusion and exclusion of others? (Be very specific in your reply: What words? What actions?) What hierarchies are put in place as they move through the meeting?
  3. What group dynamics were familiar to you? What interactions did you observe that you have not encountered in your group work?
  4. Elena was elected as the official group leader. Who do you think is the true leader of the group? Why?
  5. Discuss other members of the group. What are the most effective ways of working with someone like the character of Brittany, who has a very full schedule? Do you think Raj was helping or hindering the group’s progress? What about Jennifer?
  6. How would you characterize Frankie’s interactions with the women of the group? How would you characterize Joe’s interactions with the women?
  7. What do you predict for this group? How will they complete their assignment? What can you hypothesize about future interactions between group members? If you were Elena, what would be your next move as group leader?
  8. Finally, discuss strategies for intervening when group dynamics prove difficult and/or unsuccessful. End the video discussion with a list of best practices for group projects that tap the talents of all group members.
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