49 Percent Women IIM Alumni Report Unequal Career Opportunities
A new online survey focussing on women in the workplace highlighted that gender inequality in the workplace still persists, even after continuous effort to change the same. 49 percent of women alumni of the Indian Institute of Management reported that they do not have equal opportunities for career growth as men in their organization. The survey included 400 respondents from 20 IIMs across the country.
- The respondents included both- alumni and current women students from the IIMs. Of these, around 49 percent of respondents reported that they do not have equal career opportunities as their male counterparts when it comes to career growth.
- Though 60 percent of the respondents said that their workplace provides a flexible setup for work, only 45 percent of them said that they have initiatives for mentorship and sponsorship.
- More than 65 percent of the respondents were of the view that the representation of women in the higher tiers of their organizations is insignificant and that they need more role models to look up to.
Why Is Women’s Participation Considered Insignificant?
Even after graduating from a top B School, women have to put that extra effort into proving themselves. ” I was given a project as soon as I joined this organization. However, one of my seniors was of the view that since I will have to leave early and that I won’t be able to work overtime, he would be better at this job. I was not even asked for my take on this. I was not given a chance to prove myself and the project was transferred to his name. I lost an important project only because of the presumption that I won’t be able to work for long. Would this be the same if I were a man? No, obviously,” says Pragya Singh, currently working in a Multinational Conglomerate Company and an alumnus of one of the IIMs. “When you’re a woman, proving yourself comes handy with your job. You have to strive every single day to prove that you’re efficient and that you won’t succumb to the predefined notions about women,” she adds. This online survey was conducted by ‘The Star in Me’- A a global career advancement platform for women, in collaboration with IIM Kozhikode Alumni Association. This is the first of its kind survey and included 400 respondents from 20 IIMs across the country.
Gender Diversity Points
The shortlisting process of IIMs includes a definite weightage for gender diversity, whereby, gender diversity points are awarded for each female candidate. Though this is done to improve gender diversity in IIMs, it backfires on women as their admission is considered to be “easy” and hence of less value as compared to their male counterparts “Many a time, we come across statements like- Admission to this institute is a cakewalk for girls, after all, they’re getting xx marks for free. We get to listen to this in spite of the fact that we have crossed the minimum cutoff in the Common Admission Test (CAT), and have been selected after a Written Ability Test (WAT) and Personal Interview (PI). The most we can do is- Ignore,” says Divya Bhattacharya, currently a student of an IIM. For the class of 2021, IIM Indore has the best gender diversity in its campus with 199 females out of 476 total students.
Gender Gap In Senior Levels Of Workplace
More than 65 percent of the respondents were of the view that the representation of women in the higher tiers of their organizations is insignificant and that they need more role models to look up to. “There is a significant gender gap in the workforce and the gap tends to get amplified at leadership levels. The survey results demonstrate that even though progress has been made in enhancing gender diversity, organizations need a renewed focus on eliminating unconscious bias, strengthening mentoring and sponsorship initiatives and create a level playing field for women,” the star in me Co-Founder Uma Kasoji said. “When all the leadership roles are being served by men, certain bias against women is definite to creep in. We all tend to deny this, but this is what I’ve inferred. This is the reason that we need more women at the leadership positions,” says Kajal Gupta, currently working in a telecom company and an alumnus of an IIM.
Names changed to protect identity on request