Promoting Gender Diversity in Selection: How IIMs Stack Up

  • Sep 4th, 2017
Promoting Gender Diversity in Selection: How IIMs Stack Up

Every year lakhs of aspirants appear in the prestigious CAT exam, and their goal is common: To seek admission in one of the top B-Schools of country. While talking about the top B-Schools in country, IIMs, courtesy their brand name, are usually a common choice. 

Therefore, every year, there is a great amount of curiosity among aspirants to know about the selection criteria of various top business schools. What adds to this apprehension and anxiety is that in recent years the selection process of IIMs has undergone a sea change. Some of the notable changes include continuous lowering of CAT score weightage, replacement of GD by WAT, and introduction of a gender diversity component (also known as ‘Gender Diversity Factor’). 

Over here, it will also be pertinent to share that the number of women leaders in Indian corporate world is abysmally low (4 out of top 100 Indian companies by turnover are headed by a woman). With 23 out of Fortune 500 companies being headed by woman leaders, the situation globally is also not great,. Therefore, it is a welcome step by IIMs to work towards increasing gender diversity in their classrooms. 

Keeping these pointers in mind, Career2NextOrbit team carried out a painstaking research to find out how many IIMs are working towards improving gender diversity in their campuses and how many are either satisfied with their present state or don’t look at increasing gender diversity in their intake as a priority area. Here are the findings:

  1. Three IIMs - IIM Ahmedabad, IIM Nagpur, and IIM Shillong, don’t assign any weightage towards gender diversity factor. What may also be interesting to note here is that IIM Ahmedabad is also the mentor institute for IIM Nagpur and therefore, it is natural to expect having a large influence on selection policies. 
  2. All other 17 IIMs assign weightage to Gender Diversity factor, though in different proportions. We are not collating the same here because difference in marking schemes of these 17 IIMs did not allow an apple to apple comparison.

However, it is also important to understand the fine print.  

A closer look at this data showed that:

  1. 7 IIMs factor in for Gender diversity at time of shortlisting for WAT-PI. 
  2. 10 IIMs consider GDF at time of preparing final merit list. 

IIMs weightage to GDF at the time of WAT-PI

What is important for the reader to understand is that giving weightage to GDF at WAT-PI shortlisting stage ensures a larger pool of female candidates to get considered.

Assigning weightage to GDF only at the time of final selection stage is also a welcome step but may have a limited effect because the available pool of female candidates in itself may be a small proportion compared to the pool available at the time of WAT-PI process. 

Continuing with the research process, our team did further research about criteria for the upcoming 2018-20 batch. Out of 6 IIMs which have put the criteria explicitly on their website (we don’t believe in sharing hearsay information) IIM Ahmedabad still remains an exception to the list as for the coming year also it does not look forward to allotting any marks for gender diversity factor. 

Incorporation of GDF Factor In Admission Process

To sum up, the question which crosses our mind about IIM Ahmedabad, arguably the best B-School in the country, is: 

“Is IIM Ahmedabad pretty satisfied with its present gender ratio or it just isn’t bothered about it?”


Note: While for others, the criteria is still awaited, Career2NextOrbit team promises to students that it will keep tracking these developments and bringing to them so that they are well informed of various selection parameters and their respective importance for selection into various top business schools.

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