For those of you have been to a B-school would surely agree with me that there are several benefits that are associated with being a female in an otherwise testosterone charged environment of a B school.
In both engineering (not talking about IGIT) and management education (not talking about XLRI or other HR management instis) there is a dearth of female candidates. Thus, all that the male candidates want is a more demographic representation of the countries’ male-female ratio in these institutes. In these hallowed institutions, sightings of a fellow homo-sapiens from venus is considered a divine sign and properly revered.
Here I will make but a mere attempt to list down some benefits which, inadvertently or otherwise, get bestowed upon our fairer counterparts.
During the GD/PI process of B schools: Being a female in a group of twelve people seated for a round of “Group Discussion” has its own merit. By an unsaid rule, most of guys; who would otherwise be at each others throat to put forward their viewpoint and gain the attention of the moderator, would fall silent like a lamb the moment any girl (NOTE: GIRL and not aunties) opens her mouth. Even if she had opened her mouth to yawn, everyone would be falling over each other to give her a chance to “prove” her in the discussions and “put forward” her views. The interviewers are always more favorable to the female applicants. While the questions to a male candidate may vary from quantum application of Freudian theory (abstract right?) to the heat transfer equation between two high friction bodies; the question world invariably be about hobbies, interests and generally insipid subjects for the female candidates.
Committees: During the numerous rounds of interviews and discussion for plethora of committees that each B school invariably has, females are given a preferential treatment in two ways: Firstly- a lot of time they are always preferred over male candidates as it is assumed to boost the morale of the fellow teammates; Secondly- The interviews starting from generally eight in the evening till the sun shines; inadvertently has early interview slots for females to avoid them any “discomfort”.
Project groups: I had a professor in my institute who reserved special attention for the female students with his favorite dialogue “LAA will take care of those who take care of LAA”. In fact, a lot many professors specifically request that each group MUST contain at least one female; leave aside the logic that there aren’t that many females in the entire campus to begin with (I am not kidding…. Seriously). It is particularly at such times that the females have the time of their lives as they just have to make sure they get into a good group. The work and other such trivial matters shall be taken care of by the fellow group mates. And nobody resents them for doing as such.
Placements: Unfortunately, the situation reverses at the time of placements when the odds are indescribably in the favor of fairer sex. In most of the cases, an educated (trust me even big names are not required) female from the institutes (even if they are from Baburao Ganpat Rao Apte Institute of Medical, Engineering and Commerce Studies), with decent “attributes” are amongst the first ones to land with the best of the jobs. That’s not to say that they are not qualified for the job, heaven knows I have seen more than my fair share of qualified females during both engineering and MBA, but that sometimes other glaring attributes may also play a significant role. It is at those times that all males rue the fairer sex and crib about them.
In general: Did I mention that close to 90% junta in a typical B school comprises of engineer who, for the sake of their lives, have never been close to a female colleagues of any kind. Except perhaps an odd She-male, which frankly isn’t saying much! So imagine their awe and wonder when a live female of their project group (well they don’t necessarily need to be that either) comes up to them and request for a simple thing such as making a project report overnight from scratch or getting a survey filled by some two hundred odd people. That awe and wonder, more often than not, forces these silly awestruck morons to bow down to the whims and fancies of her ladyship and do exactly as they are told. After all, who can refuse that sad puppy look?
These are but a few benefits that I have been able to capture. Please feel free to add more if you feel I have missed out some of the “aspects”
PS: I had written a short post on Stereotypes in a class, Do give it a read too!
PPS: This post inspired by a post I read here. DO go through. A very interesting read this one turned out to be!
Images courtesy: i.ehow.com, i.ehow.co.uk, www.calacademy.org