The percentage of women pursuing courses from the top B-Schools hit a record mark this year. Indian B Schools like SP Jain (SPJIMR), Indian School of Business (ISB Hyderabad and Mohali) and Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT Delhi and Kolkata) have managed to cross the marks of 35 percent in gender diversity for the class graduating in 2021. This figure is ahead of the premier Indian Institute of Management (IIMs).

Key Takeaways:

  • IIMs scored just 33.5 percent in the gender diversity board
  • IIM Ahmedabad saw a decline in the female population, the percentage going down from 26 percent to 24 percent this year.
  • IIFT has 36 percent of women in the class of 2021, 4 percent more than the class of 2020.
  • SPJIMR managed to raise the number of female candidates from 38 percent last year to 41 percent this year without any targeted incentives or gender-based quotas.

Dream of mostly every MBA aspirant, IIM Ahmedabad saw a decline in the female population, the percentage going down from 26 percent to 24 percent this year. On average, the older IIMs (Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Calcutta, Indore, Kozhikode) scored 33.5 percent in gender diversity in their classes. Individually, IIM Indore has 42 percent women while it’s 37 percent at IIM Bangalore and Lucknow. IIM Calcutta has 31 percent women and Kozhikode has enrolled 30 percent women in their respective new batches.

To Improve Gender Diversity, Two Percent Extra Weightage Points To Girls In IIFT

“Gender diversity at our campus is one of the most important focus areas. To improve gender diversity, two percent extra weightage is being given to all female candidates during the interview session,” Manoj Pant, Director, IIFT, told Economic Times.   IIFT has 36 percent of women in the class of 2021, four percent more than the class of 2020. SPJIMR intake crossed the mark of 40 percent for female candidates. Not only this, but IIFT is also providing an extra two percent grace marks for the female candidates in order to encourage gender diversity.

“With a strong business case for inclusion and diversity in business leadership, recruiters are increasingly relying on top B-schools to prepare the next generation of trained female managers,” said SPJIMR’s George. EY, a regular talent-shopper at both IIMs and other B-schools, said the trend is encouraging.

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However, SPJIMR managed to raise the number of female candidates from 38 percent last year to 41 percent this year without any targeted incentives or gender-based quotas. “Candidates with exceptional CVs and extra-curricular activities are called for an interview in what is called a ‘profile-based’ selection,” said Sajeev George, chairperson (PGDM program), SPJIMR.

Across its two campuses at Hyderabad and Mohali, The Indian School of Business (ISB) has 39 percent female students, compared with 34 percent last year. “The percentage increase is a result of consistent efforts, over the years, to ensure much-needed gender diversity in the classroom, which in turn will lead to an increase in the representation of women in the board rooms,” said an ISB spokesperson.

Women Friendly Initiatives To Encourage Them

The average age of students at ISB is 25-27 years, unlike other B Schools. For this, they have taken certain women-friendly measures on campus. They have family-friendly rooms and other facilities such as creche and day-care for young mothers. This ensures that nothing stops them from pursuing their dreams. Moreover, there is pressure from recruiters too. “With a strong business case for inclusion and diversity in business leadership, recruiters are increasingly relying on top B-schools to prepare the next generation of trained female managers,” said SPJIMR’s George. EY, a regular talent-shopper at both IIMs and other B-schools, said the trend is encouraging.

“With a strong business case for inclusion and diversity in business leadership, recruiters are increasingly relying on top B-schools to prepare the next generation of trained female managers,”

“Female student representation in business management courses is increasing and for us it is important to provide them with a level playing field. We have strengthened our efforts in this direction by introducing ‘recruit-HER’ — our 360 degree approach to gender diversity,” said Sandeep Kohli, partner and talent leader at EY India.

Picture credit: The Education Times

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