Pan-IIM survey reveals lack of equal opportunities for women

A staggering 35% of alumnae and students from 20 Indian Institutes of Managements (IIMs) in the country say that they do not have equal opportunities for career growth as the men in their organisations.

The response was based on the second Pan-IIM survey on ‘Women in the Workplace’, an initiative of IIM Kozhikode, which is celebrating its silver jubilee year. However, the figure has shown a decline (49%) from the previous edition of the survey held last year, said a press release here on Monday.

The survey received over 350 responses from alumni and students across the 20 IIMs, with the majority of the respondents working at mid to senior management levels across industries. While most of the responses came from India, it was interesting to see a mix of responses from across 15 other countries, said the release.

Sharing the thought behind conducting the survey, Director of IIM Kozhikode Prof. Debashis Chatterjee said that business schools are a microcosm of the larger society which form the larger ecology of business. “Business is no longer an only male prerogative. Our move to bring in 54% women in 2013 radically transformed the 50-year-old IIM tradition wherein earlier no more than 8% to 10% of the classroom were women,” he said.

This game-changing process in turn signalled a major shift across women representation not only in B-schools but also in businesses. “With this survey, we attempt to go a step further to decode and give a voice to women from IIMs who continue to challenge stereotypes and break new grounds,” Prof. Chatterjee said.


About 58% of the respondents said that they encountered gender stereotyping and bias at workplace. The most commonly encountered biases are ‘Prove it again’ and ‘The Tightrope’. Nearly 26% encountered the ‘Prove it Again’ bias where women are held to a higher standard than men and must continually prove themselves. Women are promoted on performance, while men are promoted on potential.

Another 23% encountered ‘The Tightrope’ bias where professional women are seen as too weak or too assertive — and in response, must try to balance between the two.

The dearth of women in leadership was starkly evident with 61% saying that female representation in their organisations’ top leadership tier was insignificant and that they need more role models to look up to. And, 81% of the respondents said they prefer to work from home at least partially even post the pandemic.

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Printable version | Dec 5, 2021 5:56:17 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kozhikode/pan-iim-survey-reveals-lack-of-equal-opportunities-for-women/article34077677.ece

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