IIM Selection Process: Focus on Maintaining Gender Diversity

Every year, several lakh management aspirants appear for CAT (Common Admission Test), one of the toughest entrance examinations conducted across India. This exam is conducted for students seeking admission to the top Business Schools across India. When talking about the top B-Schools in the country, Indian Institute of Management (IIMs) stand right there at the pinnacle of management education.

Owing to this much popularity of IIMs, aspirants are pretty curious to know about the selection criteria of the topmost B-Schools. The reason behind this anxiety and curiosity is the drastic change in the criteria of IIM Selection Process. Some of the important changes that took place in the selection process of IIMs include decrease in CAT percentile, replacement of GD by WAT, and the introduction of a component of gender diversity i.e. the Gender Diversity Factor.

It is also very important to note that the number of women leaders in the corporate sector of India is really very low i.e. on an average 4 out of top 100 Indian companies are headed by a women which is pretty low.  It is really a welcome step by the IIMs to work in favor of increasing Gender Diversity in their classes.

Nowadays, B-Schools are pretty sensitive towards improving gender diversity as the women usually offers the business firms a more serious and sincere performance. In order to increase diversity in the system, the business organizations also focus on providing better opportunities to the women. At the time of campus selections in IIMs, the companies basically select students based on their talent and aptitude not on the basis of their gender.

If we look at the data from the past years, we can easily see that the percentage of female candidates appearing for CAT is around 30% and is increasing consistently over a time period of last few years. Nowadays, the top B-Schools are regularly focusing on initiatives to maintain the right balance of gender diversity in their classrooms. In 2018, IIM announced a total of 60 supernumerary seats for a women only batch. Infect, the institute also modified its admission criteria to admit more female candidates.

It is very important for everyone to understand that giving weight age to Gender Diversity Factor at WAT-PI shortlisting stage will definitely ensure a large number of female candidates to get shortlisted. However, assigning a particular weight age to Gender Diversity Factor only at the time of final selection stage is also a welcoming step but the effect of the same is limited to a certain extent as the available pool of female aspirants is in small proportion as compared to the pool of females at the time of WAT-PI stage.

Real life solutions to overcome Gender Diversity

The fundamental question that the society needs to look at is why there are only 32-33% women who are taking the CAT? Only a few families are there which focuses on providing post graduation education to their female child, however, most families doesn’t want to invest any money in the CAT coaching and consider it as additional expenditure. On the other hand, if the male child wants to pursue MBA, the family will support their son.

Female diversity is very important and in order to increase the number of female employees in the business firms, we have to make the working environment and culture in the firms pretty comfortable for the women. For example, the companies need to introduce the zero tolerance for sexual harassment of women. The social initiatives are introduced in such a way such that it promote more female participation in the area of management.

It is very important nowadays to shift the focus on empowering women and upgrading skills. The need of the hour is to do something like generating programs particularly for women entrepreneurs. Nowadays, so many programs are available in IIMs which are exceptionally good for female candidates and such courses help in building a large number of women entrepreneurs.

So, it is a welcome step introduced by the IIMs and highly praising. Other institutions also need to focus on the Gender Diversity Factor to increase the percentage of women candidates in the IIMs.

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