Creating the Extraordinary Student Experience

  • A&F Challenge Presentation

Spring 2016 - Abercrombie & Fitch: Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives

May 23, 2016 by Austin Stewart

On Tuesday, April 12, students in our Sophomore Cohort delivered final presentations to challenge partner Abercrombie & Fitch. The students were divided into teams and asked to develop solutions and implementation strategies regarding internal diversity communications for the company. Each team of Fellows approached the challenge from a unique lens – see the summary of their approaches below:

Team 1: Website, Affinity Groups, and Knicknacks: revise website appearance to better reflect the good work A&F already does around diversity and inclusion (external audience); create Affinity Groups for associates to join based on a common identity (internal audience; and adopt “Knicknack” boards company-wide for associates to display the elements of their lives and identities which matter most to them (internal audience)

Team 2: Website Redesign: overhaul website content to highlight “A&F Cares” pages specifically regarding diversity (external audience)

Team 3: A&F App and Snapchat: create A&F app for employees to better connect with colleagues, company events, and work A&F is already doing around areas of diversity and inclusion (internal audience); continuously manage Snapchat story for A&F to highlight diversity and inclusion efforts (external audience)

Team 4: Hire CEO and Strengthen Digital Presence: recommend hire of CEO to guide company priorities around diversity and inclusion (internal audience); strengthen digital presence on Instagram, FaceBook, Twitter, and Vine to ensure consistent messaging and more personal experience with A&F images and brand (external audience)

A&F representatives and our Fellows had the following comments regarding their experience:

  • Our team came up with an internal and external solution that consisted of an internal communication app and Snapchat story. This challenge was an amazing experience. I learned how to work with different types of individuals, find creative solutions, and create a whole project from start to finish.” 
    - Shweta Ambwani, Fellow
  • "Our team for the Abercrombie & Fitch challenge, cleverly named BL(A&F), developed an entire functional mobile application prototype to address the company's internal communication concerns regarding their diversity and inclusion initiatives. This challenge not only provided us with a greater understanding of D&I as a whole, but highlighted the importance of communication and compromise when developing a deliverable for a corporate company.
    - Jeff Rolland, Fellow
  • Wow! I am just blown away! I couldn’t be more proud to be a graduate of Ohio State.” 
    - Ms. Jeanetta Darno, Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion
  • Honestly it was like sitting through 5 presentations by McKinsey, except they had 6 total hours of access to the home office.” 
    - Mr. Bob Bostrom to Ms. Diane Chang, Executive Vice President of Sourcing

Read more about the A&F challenge at the following link.