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For the first time, the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore has registered a count of 100 women in its 2012-2014 batch. While it works to just around 26 % (batch size being 377), lower than what other IIMs like (IIM Shillong and IIM Kozhikode have known to admit), it is an achievement of sorts because IIMB had taken the agenda (of enrolling more women) on a war footing three years ago.
Prof M Jayadev, Chairperson Admissions at IIM Bangalore said that the number of women students have gradually increased from 20.08% in 2010 to 22.25% in 2011. And this year accepting 100 women is an achievement for us. * We have increased the number of non-engineers to bring more diversity to the class. The percentage of engineers has dropped from 93.06% in 2010 to 88.86% in 2012. All this has been a planned effort.
According to Jayadev while no compromises have been made on merit, a lot of extra work has gone in during admissions to increase the number of women. The cut-offs have been same for our women aspirants. But we have been very careful during the interviews.
Apparently, during the interviews, all women aspirants were given a focused hearing and careful attention was paid to whether women had the characteristics to make it to IIM Bangalore. We looked at personality characteristics and also at intelligence. We went through every application very thoroughly and gave interview the maximum weight age so that we not only get more women but also the kinds that IIMB is looking for, said Prof Jayadev.
The Admissions Chairperson added that measures such as these had to be taken because given the nature of The Common Admission Test (CAT); engineers are the only ones that sail through with higher CAT scores. Of course, despite the efforts taken by IIMB, the new batch has only 42 non-engineers and of the 100 women 82 are from an engineering background.
Like in the previous years, 10th and 12th academic performance was also taken into consideration during admissions. Thats another way how we continue to increase the number of women students at IIMB as women tend to be more consistent academically, said Prof Jayadev.
*(A quote has been altered in the story this morning (July 4, 2012). Prof Jayadev has specified that increasing the number of engineers increases diversity in class and it is not an issue of feeling happy or unhappy)