PLT Consulting: Navigating Inclusion as a Linguistic Minority

Hilla Back & Rebecca Piekkari


In 2021, Robert, a highly qualified immigrant from the United Kingdom, had recently joined PLT Consulting (PLT), a multinational management consulting company, as a junior consultant in the Tallinn, Estonia, office. This professional services firm had a strong international brand. However, Robert soon realized that the organization catered both internally and externally to more local demands. In particular, his lack of local language proficiency made the organization a challenging work environment for him, both professionally and socially. Robert raised the issue with his boss, who invited him to a meeting with representatives from PLT’s human resources department and his work team. What concrete steps could they suggest that would help resolve the situation?

Learning Objectives

This case can be used in management, international business, and diversity and inclusion courses and modules at the undergraduate or graduate level. This anonymized case explores the reality of navigating inclusion as an international employee and member of a linguistic minority at an organization with a large local majority. It emphasizes the social and work-related outcomes of language-based discrimination and reveals the challenges of managing diversity and of being a member of a minority group. In particular, it highlights the importance of the team when dealing with challenges related to language. After working through the case and assignment questions, students will be able to do the following:

  • Understand diversity and inclusion through experiential learning.
  • Explain the importance of language as a dimension of diversity.
  • Identify the social and work-related outcomes of language-based discrimination.
  • Outline how corporate culture can be made more inclusive.