Scoring High On Gender Diversity
The percentage of women pursuing courses from the top B-schools hit a record mark this year. Campuses across India are trying to create a diversity balanced environment
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Institutes like Indian School of Business (ISB Hyderabad and Mohali and KJ Somaiya Institute of Management Studies and Research (SIMSR) have come above all other with 39 per cent and 41.11 per cent women respectively in the current batch of 2021. On the other hand, IIMs in Kozhikode, Indore, Lucknow, Calcutta, Ahmedabad and Bangalore have scored an average of 33.5 per cent in terms of women in the classes. However, individually, IIM Indore has 42 per cent, highest among others, IIM Bangalore and Lucknow have 37 per cent each and Kozhikode campus has 30 per cent and Calcutta has 31 per cent of women students in the batch.
“The institute is an equal opportunity provider. The students come through a rigorous selection procedure during admissions that comprise of written tests scores, group discussions, personal interviews, extra-curricular achievements, academic achievements and work experience,” informed Monica Khanna, Director, SIMSR.
Similarly according to ISB Deputy Dean Philip Charles Zerrillo, “ISB is the only school in India to have a 39 per cent women in the postgraduate business programme. It should be noted that the class also has 36 per cent non-engineers. This is not engineered but rather the result of encouraging people to consider ISB.”
Level Playing Campus
The B-School campuses across the country are trying to create a diversity balanced environment. On this Khanna added, “It’s important to have a diversity balanced environment as most learning and acculturation process happens through peer learning. The campus is the place where students make lifelong friends and get networking opportunities.”
Zerrillo shared that his institute follows an algorithm wherein students are divided into small study groups (6-8 in a group) for peer learning and course work. They are also advised to come out from their comfort zone and sit next to students from a diverse background. Students are also split into the two campuses in the north and south based on this algorithm in a ratio of 2:1.
SIMSR uses various pedagogical tools like chalk-and-talk, case studies, experiential learning opportunities, live projects, international and rural immersions, participation in various community initiatives etc. Khanna elucidated, “This prepares the students to take up various careers in the industry. This is equally true for both men and women students as they work in groups and learn to grow as individuals and team players.”
However, ISB has various professional and social clubs, one of them is Women In Business (WIB). “WIB is a student-run professional club on campus that was established in 2010 to empower the women student community and equip them to better accomplish personal and professional goals. The Club aims to empower women across India through various measures such as by arming them with the tools to succeed in the world of business through essential skill enhancement initiatives. This also includes giving them a strong resource pool for support and guidance through establishing a strong network with corporate organisations and women business leaders. The institute also ensures that women leaders across all levels of business through partnerships with many non-profit organisations or women social entrepreneurs for the social and economic upliftment of underprivileged women.
The initiatives implemented at ISB demonstrate a continued commitment to developing its female graduates. “ISB runs a programme for female alumni that are looking to re-energise their careers. This is intended to help women who may have left the career track to reconnect. This programme also seeks to provide access to and advice from successful female business leaders for those seeking entry to the boardroom,” informed Zerrillo.
Diversity in Curriculum & Placements
Institutes play a pivotal role in providing a platform for the students, especially in providing world-class curriculum, exposure and placement opportunities. Khanna informed that at the point of the intake itself, they have a good diversity ratio. “A lot of activities at the institute are student-led and there is no sort of bias when students from different genders and community participate in the academic, extra-curricular and co-curricular activities,” she added.