The Desautels Faculty of Management at McGill University

The Desautels Faculty of Management at McGill University in Canada is a leading international business school which offers several degree programs at the undergraduate, masters, doctoral and executive-level, including a BCom, an MBA, a bilingual EMBA, and a PhD in Management.

Their areas of expertise in research and teaching include; finance, information systems, operations management, health care management, marketing, entrepreneurship, organisational behaviour, and strategy and organization.

The challenge

BlueSky was tasked with securing international media coverage for a recent piece of faculty research into why female managers are in such short supply – carried out by Professor Lisa Cohen, an expert in organisational behaviour.

Her research proved for the first time that women are more likely to reach high-level roles within companies that already have a high proportion of female managers. This revealed an unconscious gender bias in the workplace and highlighted the need for greater proportions of female managers for women’s career progression as a whole.

The solution

The Desautels Faculty of Management produces high-quality research which is relevant in today’s business world. In this case, the research focused on women in leadership – a widely discussed topic at the moment.

We therefore decided to pitch the research by linking it to the recent examples of Mary Barra, the new chief executive of General Motors, and Inga Beale, Lloyds of London’s first female chief executive, as an explanation as to why their positions are so exceptional.


Working together with Professor Cohen, we wrote a press release in which her research was presented as a fresh approach to the existing debate as to why female managers are so often a minority, and offered some simple tips to businesses to help improve the gender balance at the top. Given its international relevance, we sent it to journalists and publications around the globe.

The results

By positioning the professor as a thought-leader on this subject, the research has been featured in publications across the world. Articles were commissioned in highly-regarded broadsheets and websites, as far afield as Georgia’s leading business newspaper The Financial – a publication where her article not only featured online and in print, but it also hit the front page of the website.

Lisa was even interviewed live on radio, Newstalk, Ireland’s national news radio station about her research.