IIM’s quest for diversity results in more women, non-engineers on campus

Written by Shyna Kalra
| New Delhi |

Published: August 24, 2020 5:22:27 pm

Most IIMs provide weightage to diversity throughout interview (Express Photo By Amit Mehra / Representational picture)

The batch of 2020 could have a report excessive variety of females attending lessons, in line with information supplied by the IIMs. While the general enrollment of girls in the premier B-school has been growing over time, the one top-ranked IIM exhibiting a decline in this development is IIM-Ahmedabad. It can be among the many few IIMs to not give additional weightage to ladies.

Despite having equal rights, the illustration of girls stays low in Indian increased schooling institutes as in comparison with their male counterparts. The Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) determined to alter this early this decade and supplied diversity quotient underneath which weightage was given to the background of a scholar through the interview spherical. Gender-diversity additionally will get weightage in majority of the IIMs. As a outcome, not solely more ladies but in addition individuals from numerous educational and social backgrounds have gotten larger entry to IIMs in the present educational yr.

Errol D’Souza, Director, IIM-A instructed, “We are conscious about the efficacy of increasing the percentage of women entering our classes. The achievements are slow as the goal is not to give extra credits or specify a quota for gender or other diversity attributes in the admissions process.” This yr’s batch at IIM-A could have 85 ladies, down from 92 final yr.


This raises the query, is the diversity quotient the key driver behind the elevated feminine enrollments at IIMs?

IIM-Kozhikode’s second-time director Debashis Chatterjee who claims to have began the development of giving weightage to gender diversity in 2012, instructed that the concept behind the quota was to deal with bigger social points and provide a degree taking part in subject to ladies.

“We had studied data of past years of different IIMs before introducing the gender diversity weightage. We found that only about 8-10 per cent of the students were females. We had realised that this is happening because the number of women applying for Common Admission Test (CAT) — the entrance exam for IIMs — was low. Women did not have as much access to coaching preparedness, parents were also skewed towards supporting male children more to pursue masters level courses. The idea was to create aspiration among females. We had more than 50 per cent females that year which is a record high till now,” he mentioned.

Chatterjee thinks that this can be a strategic transfer and never compensatory. “We do not just randomly give marks to girls; it is a strategic move. During the interview round, we look for the holistic journey of the candidate. For instance, a student coming from a remote village of Bihar and a student from a premier institute in Mumbai will have different journeys. We look at the profile of students from class 10 onward along with their CAT score rather than just assessing them on a one-time assessment matrix of the CAT.”

In final yr’s placement — of the primary 100 job presents at IIM-Okay — 60 went to women, mentioned Chatterjee who believes that demand for numerous institutes additionally arises from the trade which is seeking to have more gender-balanced board rooms. He, nonetheless, additionally famous, “While the number of females has increased in full-time courses, the case is opposite in executive courses as women have an additional glass ceiling to break at mid-career levels.”

Even on the IIM-B, which has seen a rise in ladies enrollment from 28.13 per cent final yr to 37.41 per cent in this yr’s PGP programs, the variety of ladies in different long-duration certificates programmes together with executive-level programs have both declined or remained the identical, the IIM mentioned. “The trend in PGP is equivalent to the trend that we see these days on any other board exam where women students perform better than their male counterparts. Probably it is their focus and hardworking nature that works in their favour,” mentioned Ashis Mishra, chairperson, admissions and monetary assist, IIM-B.

Anju Seth, Director, IIM-Calcutta, believes that “inclusivity and diversity” symbolize the “core values” of the institute. In their upcoming batch, 55 per cent are females, 20 per cent are non-engineers and 60 per cent are college students with prior work expertise. She mentioned that other than the federal government mandates, the IIM additionally “encourages additional dimensions of diversity including academic and gender diversity. We also try our best to facilitate seamless learning and programme experience for all.” 

The IIM-C has 24 seats reserved for PwD candidates. The institute claims to make particular preparations for every differently-abled scholar earlier than they be a part of the institute. The IIM has a particular software program for candidates with disabilities associated to imaginative and prescient and listening to.

IIM-Okay has additionally almost doubled the variety of non-engineers at its campuses from 28 per cent in 2019 to 40 per cent this yr. This development too is frequent amongst all of the IIMs who’ve diversity quota. At IIM-A too, the variety of non-engineers rose from 73.97 per cent in 2019 to 75.90 per cent this yr.

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