Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The benefits (or the tragedy as the case may be) of being a female in an Indian B School

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

17 comments:

  1. This is exactly what i talk about when girls talk about equality!

    You can't talk about "Ladies First" and "Gender Equality" at the same time. And humor aside - this becomes quite serious at the time of placements. Gender Bias in placements is akin to reservations where merit is compromised just for the sake of "attributes" as you mentioned.

    In fact, i vividly remember asking one of our HR profs in the class, who was talking about interview techniques etc; "Is there a gender bias in selection processes of the companies" and getting a thunderous applause from section 5.

    I very good article which refreshed my memories. :-)

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  2. @Thakur: I am sure that this piece must have struck a chord with you!

    And yes, at times, there is a very perceptible bias favoring the women and in those cases it is fine for all... like some companies asking for only female applicants.. Were it the other way round, this would have raised such a hue and cry!

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  3. hmm...we had more gurls than guys in my college, even the H school has good male-female ratio, in all my campus had a good hustle and bustle representing both the sexes.
    During GD, yes, I was quite intimidating to many guys :D, they had to keep quiet..hehe.

    B School or no B School, gurls are given preferences by GUYS and I am totally enjoying it :D

    Talk abt equality, we still need to be treated equally in serious societal matters

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  4. @Priya: LOL... I am sure you would identify with some of the things mentioned here

    @Grace: Welcome to the world of my Wandering THoughts! Feel free to explore more...

    I couldnt agree more that in more than one ways, females need to be treated a lot better than the way they are... but this post is in a lighter vein and should be taken so...

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  5. great informative, miss you at indie dude.

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  6. thanks for sharing information for your blog and very nice blog site i really impressed and want some more The benefits (or the tragedy as the case may be) of being a female in an Indian B School

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  7. @Pramodji: Appreciate you liking the post! Due to some restrcitions, not able to access indi at work... will be back soon with a bang!

    @Firenze, Pooja, Fast Five: Welcome to the world of my Wandering Thoughts... Feel free to explore more!

    @Pooja: I am glad that you liked the post

    @Firenze: I agree with you dude/dudette!

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  8. really that happens...??? since I havent been to a B-school, I'll just have to take your word for it. I'll have to take your word that a woman can easily make a twit out of a "brainy" engineering-b school grad as well!!! just reinforces Harry belafonte's theory...man smart woman smarter!!! :P

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  9. @Prachi: Welcome to the world of my Wandering Thoughts... Feel free to explore more!

    Trust me! It is true to the last word and I have personally seen that happen in both engineering and MBA days (though thankfully never been a victim to one)

    The theory... I am not familiar with but kind-of agree with anyways!

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  10. AWESOME !!! AWESOME !!! And Thakur ka comment apne mind me hamesha tha, aur hum to bolte bhi hai ki kahe ka equality, koi suntha hi nahin lekin :P

    Sahi tha bhai.. Shaadi ke baad aur mast likh raha hai tu to :D

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  11. @Sarkari Babu: Thnx dude! I am glad that you liked it! I guess shaadi ka kuch impact toh aaya hi hai!

    BTW where are you these days! and how is life? BTW do read another one on the same tone at: http://aashishsood.blogspot.com/2010/11/gender-discrimation-of-second-kind.html

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  12. This is a great inspiring article. I am pretty much pleased with your good work. You put really very helpful information. Keep it up. Keep blogging.

    Movie Photos are here

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  13. Raja: I am glad that you liked the post!

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  14. Anonymous5/10/2011

    Duh, small benefits when compared to a lifetime of pms.. don't be so bitter

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  15. @Anonymous: I am assuming you are a first time visitor to my site and since you are talking about PMS, a female.

    The post is written in a lighter vein and thats how it should be taken. There is no bitterness or any other such thing hidden (or displayed) anywhere!

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  16. Spellings check karo dear. It's "She-Male". Group join a group. etc. Some silly mistakes present.

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