Do you think Indian B-Schools should lay emphasis on having more women students on campus?

Business Standard poses a question and solicits responses from students across India for their weekly column “ Student’s Corner”

The topic for last week was Do you think Indian B-Schools should lay emphasis on having more women students on campus?

Here are all the responses sent by IBS students:

Roughly around 30 percent of the crowd in MBA batches are women. This shows a terrible imbalance in the field of management and leaves a vacuum in the field of women supervisors. The vacuum needs to be filled in, as balanced gender mix is a healthy prospect both in terms of business and the community alike. Also, women give an altogether different perspective of a business, which gives in a new trajectory of thought which is not possible in the male dominated MBA stream. B schools should come up with scholarships for women to encourage them to take to this path of post graduation. Besides, empowering women will not only help the business, but help in the development of the country as a whole. More women role models are essential, and this can be only achieved if they are given a chance to prove themselves. Also, it is observed that women usually struggle to cope between their social and professional life, and hence might view the B school experience less favourably. An added encouragement from the B schools will help them overcome this apprehension. Hence, women empowerment is an essential duty of Indian B-schools.

— Udayan Sikdar, IBS Mumbai.

 I don’t think so there is any need for special emphasis on women students. B-schools select students on their intellectual level which they show in their entrance exams. Then GD/PI, and I think only best should be selected. If we need to emphasise, then we should focus on economically weak students. There are roughly 8 per cent women top executives in the world. Why a deserving candidate should be not selected because he is a man. If the scenario was different in India, then we could say to emphasize on women students.  Other thing to emphasis is the curriculum.

— Abhinav Juneja, IBS Gurgaon.

As in India the approach of education is more theoretical and we all are aware about the fact that women are more practical in life so this will certainly boost the practical study and change the outlook of the B-Schools. And in addition women also provides the motivation especially to men to do well or at least reach to their expectations and this we can achieve with the help of this format. Though this is next to impossible as the sex ratio of women is less than that of man but the seats should be reserved in the same manner.

— Achint Mathur, IBS, Gurgaon

I don’t think Indian business schools need to lay emphasis on having more women student on their campus. Going to a B school is a personal choice of a student irrespective of gender. We are no more living in the times when women are restricted to 4 walls and expected to marry and rear kids. Most of them take their own pick and those who can’t, for them even such emphasis wouldn’t help. In a country where we are still recuperating from the ill effects of gender discrimination and reservation, we should not encourage such an act. Equality is what we all preach and aim to achieve, and so should we work towards making this real.

— Priyanka Bajaj, IBS Bangalore.

According to me, women have developed themselves and had reached a point where they are at par with men. Its good for the motivation of women education but then women are capable of achieving what they want. Education should be just and fair and whosoever deserves it should get the opportunity and not on the basis of gender. Being a women I would not like someone to see my gender over my talent and capabilities. It would be unfair to those male candidates who would have made it but could not because of more emphasis given to women on campus.

— Hetal Porwal, IBS Ahmedabad

Whether you are a man or a woman, business school can help you achieve your career goals. An MBA can open doors that you never knew existed. We need initiatives like these precisely because the level of female presentation in boards has fallen short. Also I feel ratio of men & women must be in equal proportion so that at the end it turns out to be the perfect match and we get better managers.

Typically, women operate and manage businesses in some significantly different ways than men do. Recent studies point out that while both male and female styles of leadership can be effective; ‘female’ frequently has the edge. In order to get more of Chanda Kochhar, Indra Krishnamurthy Nooyi, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw and established women like them, the stepping stone would be imparting education and knowledge to more number of women at B schools.

— Ankita Arora, IBS Mumbai

Women the more you try to understand them the more you think! Why did I even tried?. I did my MBA in 09-11 from ICFAI Gurgaon. During my two years I learned quite many things be it working in a team , late nights assignments and many other. I noticed one important thing the confidence girls had these days. I am sorry to say but we should take a leaf out of there book. I think women are more emotionally intelligent and are better in managing people . They have different sets of ideologies and their understanding is different which makes it interesting working with them .Last but not the least being a guy myself “Who doesn’t want to have more girls in college and I think every guy would vouch for me .

— Kshitij Khandelwal, IBS Gurgaon

An MBA is extremely versatile and will be valuable in no matter what industry you decide to enter. Also, the proportion of women with paid jobs can give a massive boost to the economy and have changed women’s lifestyle and thinking. Companies are now hiring women is about quality and pluralism – to show that not one way only is the right way to do business. However, as many women are leaving jobs in their 30s when their career is about to take off to start a family and not return to their job.

— Vivek Gujral, IBS Mumbai.

The topic of discussion is disheartening to a certain extent. Why are women still considered as the weaker gender despite world over examples of women entrepreneurs giving an exquisite contribution in their work field? B-school curriculum is not designed in a way that any emphasis needs to be laid on any division of society be it social or gender. If any emphasis is required it’s in the area of reduction in the cost of the course. Bringing the gender issue would give space to unnecessary discomfort and hatred among the men against women and hence negating the possibility of effective team work which forms the backbone of any institution. Moreover, as a women I would never like to dilute my share of success with a guilt and obligation of being ’emphasised on’.

— Rhiva Singh, IBS Gurgaon.

The prime motive of b-schools is to make business leaders of tomorrow. Keeping that in mind we need to broaden our horizons and enhance management education. It is still believed that women are not interested in entering this profession. Even the best of b-schools in the country have average class strength of only 12-15 percent women. Imparting managerial skills is very important and cannot be ignored. Not having a good male-female ratio will result in restriction of exchange of ideas and also result in limiting their thinking perception. So the Indian b-schools should lay emphasis on having more women students on campus.

— Sonnelpreet Singh Chawla, IBS Mumbai

Diversity is a factor of great value and women in Indian B-schools can be seen as the same effort towards having a diversity of intellectualism. It will not only improve the percentage of women students in higher education but will also help B-schools in developing students which can be different from each other and yet be very influential. But it should be kept in mind that nobody can be forced to study and thus getting seats reserved for women will not be of great help. The aptitude tests should be such which allow measurement of skills along with knowledge.

— Neha Singh, IBS Gurgaon.

Business world demands skills which are indifferent to the sex of the involved brain. In current scenario Women also play a significant role in decision making and many other important areas. Hence, B-schools must open-up their arms and welcome each and every part of the society which is possessing such qualities, irrespective of their sex. Equal opportunities must be provided which could help to select the best person.

— Sandeep Guleria, IBS Gurgaon

Indian B-schools should lay emphasis on having more women students on campus for– rapid economic growth of Indian economy; increase female labour force participation rates and having similar set of talent and attributes as men. Women possess over fifty percent of India’s population and even close to half of Indian Corporate managers. Women hold a prominent position in Indian corporate world and society. However, since the prehistoric times women were denied opportunities and have to suffer for gender ideology. But now, times have changed women are at par with men in all kind of tasks like reaching the moon, conquering Mount. Everest and participating in all fields.

— Husain Rupawala, IBS Mumbai.

India is a developing at fast pace in this global economy. A high demand for talent and a need to look beyond has prompted Indian companies to encourage women at managerial positions. Thus with intention of creating more global & Indian women business leaders & move away from stereotype business schools need to give emphasis more on women. As from over the years admission of girls in IIM’s have increased across its now time for other B-schools to follow the suit and give equal opportunity to girls. Its time to see more Indra Nooyi & Chanda Kochhar in coming years.

— Vikas Barbhaya, IBS Mumbai

In India where profit is the only business of business, very few women are applying for b-schools. Women are required at managerial level because they have more pragmatic approach towards life, they’ve more stronger ethics and they are more expressive. Leadership study says that women are better managers. B-schools should encourage balanced gender representation else it will restrict exchanges of different ideas during classroom sessions which will ultimately going to affect workplace and production. The aim of b-school is not to act like placement agency but to inculcate managerial ethics to produce better managers for tomorrow. The number of women entrepreneurs is growing from meager of 2% in 1971 to 11% till now where women like Chanda Kochhar, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Dr. Swati Parimal and many others have paved their way to success. Moreover it shouldn’t be only viewed as urban perspective but b-schools should start taking initiatives to reach out to rural working women to make them realize their qualities and enhance their skills. Finally for driving more and more female students to b-schools, there should be force of motivation, change in family attitude and winds of change within can only transform them into better managers.

— Abhishek Devendra Fanse, IBS, Hyderabad.

“In a country where against 100 men enrolled only 14 women were pursuing higher education during 1950-51, the number had risen considerably to 66 by 2001-2002, emphasis should be laid on stressing the importance of management studies to women and the society at large. A greater number of women choose courses which ensure secure government jobs (as also desired by their families). Laying an emphasis on having more women in B-school campuses mustn’t mean having separate quota for women, but having women who are aware that they possess the essential qualities that a B-school and a management course demands. As Burns rightly pointed out : once leadership comes properly to be seen as a process of leaders engaging and mobilizing the human needs of followers, women will be more readily recognized as leaders.”

— Sonali Sarkar, IBS Bangalore.

B-schools’ class rooms and companies’ board rooms have traditionally been male-dominated. The average women ratio in a batch stands between 12-15% in Indian b-schools. Gender wise unbalanced workforce is the story of most of the organisations in our country, as there are not enough women in B-schools to select from. In order to create more balanced class rooms and workplaces, B-schools should emphasise on increasing the ratio of women enrolments by providing merit scholarships to women so that the deserving ones who don’t apply for B-schools for not being able to afford the big bucks as fees, so that they can also enroll for management studies. More flexible time table can be introduced so they can manage their family and studies. The admission policies and criteria should be more conducive to their overall skills.

— Madhur Madaan, IBS Mumbai.

According to me women are most prominent features that leads any organization to grow business. They play in an open out role in b schools each lady predicts different ideas as Kochhar, CEO and MD of ICICI Bank.

— Nikhil Chandravanshi, IBS Bangalore.

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