Nearly a third of the new batch of students at Indian Institute of Management Calcutta this year will be women, making it one of the most gender-diverse campuses among the country’s premier educational institutes. There will be a healthy number of non-engineering students in the batch as well.
For the 2019-2020 academic year, the institute has granted admission to 32% women candidates — the highest ever — up from 27% last year.
The number of women students at IIM-C used to average around 20% till 2016, when it drastically dipped to 16%. This had prompted the B-school to adopt several measures — like awarding extra marks at the pre-interview stage — to bring more girl students into its fold.
The efforts had paid off with the number of girls going up to 31% in 2017 before dipping again the following year.
The number of non-engineering students finding berths has also gone up to 12.3% for the past two year from 8%-9% earlier.
“The IIM-C has over the years looked at inclusion and gender diversity on its campus and by taking up the percentage of girls to 32, we have almost achieved our desired numbers,” said a senior institute official.
The B-school’s primary objective has always been to get a wider pool of female candidates, which prompted it to give the girls a little push by awarding them two additional marks at the pre-interview stage.
“But we found that a significant number of female candidates would have made it to the interview even without the additional marks. This was very encouraging,” said IIM-C admission chairperson Sumanta Basu. “The girls have performed extremely well in the interview, and they were also incredibly well-rounded with all the requisite traits required to make it to the IIMs,” Basu said.
At the interview, the candidates were examined not just on technical and quantitative knowledge but also on attributes that would make them more suitable for the management discipline, a senior official said. “Their contextual familiarity and their insights were also taken into account,” he said. “A classroom with diversity becomes more attentive and more committed. There is definitely more seriousness. Moreover, no one can deny that women bring in certain qualities inside the classroom and outside,” he added.
According to Prashant Mishra, dean, external relations and new initiatives, the renewed momentum to create more diversity in the workplace is a welcome trend. “Recruiters prefer to have a more diverse pool of candidates to select from. But, from the larger social point of view, this is a true reflection of increasing women’s participation in higher education and subsequently in the workplace, and is an encouraging sign,” he said.
Source: Times of India