Narrowing the gender gap and inculcating an inclusive environment at IIM Kashipur

While the gender gap and career development opportunities continue to provide barriers for women around the world, business schools are taking measures to ensure that women are more motivated than ever before and given the resources required to ensure they reach the top of their chosen profession. As a female student, I take immense pride to be part of an institution that has made constant efforts since its inception to enhance gender diversity and have left no stone unturned when it comes to what the MBA has to offer. 

Being a part of this prestigious institution, I have realised that the learnings as well as achievements are not restricted to be just classroom specific. All my female batchmates have shown active and equal participation on and off-campus, be it representing the institution in various B-schools & Corporate Competitions and emerging as the National Finalists and National Winners or running the campus along with their male counterparts through several clubs and committees while heading a few. 

It is the ripple effect of the combined efforts of all the women who joined IIM Kashipur and paved the path for equivalence, that the batch of 2020-22 witnessed a growth rate of 186 per cent in the number of female students joining the institution, compared to the previous batch. The current batch has a healthy representation of female students from 20 states and union territories across the country. To promote gender diversity, the institute has continued its initiative of sanctioning 15 supernumerary seats for women.

While we are on the subject of gender diversity, it is of utmost importance to realise and strike a healthy balance between the genders and promote growth, inclusivity and responsible management to ensure we give back to the society, future leaders who can inspire and set examples for the next generation of gender-inclusive leadership.

The vision set for students, is towards attempting for gender hypervisibility to be diminished and eventually disappear. At IIM Kashipur, we have come together in an attempt to develop leaders irrespective of the gender they belong to, who are not only mindful of the differences but also involve all categories of social distinction, so that they become leaders who form a workplace that is inclusive and equitable for all. 

About the Author:
Payal Singh, a Production Engineer by qualification is currently pursuing MBA (Analytics) from IIM Kashipur.  She is a part of  Team Insite- Admission Support Body of IIM Kashipur. You can connect with her on Linkedin.

Acing the Cases – From the Horse’s Mouth

Case competitions are an integral part of B School life- not only because you get a kind of exposure but also the enormous amount of learning involved with it. Undoubtedly, academics form the basic ingredient of B School but also fine-tune yourself by participating in several International, National & Corporate Competitions. In one such international competition I participated (Zurich Enterprise Challenge), we did not manage to get into the Semi finale stage, but the problem statement was what attracted us the most. The statement demanded the vision for businesses & multinational enterprises post-Covid world.

Amidst the cramped schedule of a B School life, you would not get the time to do all the cases and do proper justice to them. So, picking and choosing the cases becomes a key aspect. “Pick a case and absolutely slaughter it” – should be the mantra. This indeed goes a long way, as a proper approach to a case requires a lot of research and groundwork & it effectively drains out oneself. Picking up simultaneous case competitions will not be a smart choice as the effort gets divided. There’s no fixed one-size-fits-all for the competitions. The main aim of competition varies on a case-to-case basis – sometimes it’s the PPO/PPI/ personal brand building, sometimes it’s the brand and sometimes it’s just the learning one can get by participating in it.

During my 2 years in IIM Kashipur, one thing I effectively learned is “perseverance holds the key to success.” In the first year, I did not participate much effectively in competitions except the only one in which our team won the title of National Winners in IIM Trichy. I felt that with the second year in the fold, it was wise to participate in the competitions that were restricted only to the first years. 

In the second year, it becomes clearer as the domain gets selective – for example, in the second year, I mostly participated in Marketing, Consulting, and Strategy competitions. Moreover, you learn a lot from your mistakes, in fact, the bitter pills you swallow shape up for the upcoming ones. In one such corporate competition organized by Infosys, a minor mistake from our end did cost our entry to the next round. So, these competitions, indeed serve as a replica, to what one might expect from the corporate world – “there are no free lunches incorporated.” One great aspect of participating in various case competitions is that you get to know in-depth about specific sectors you work in while preparing for the cases. The cases are handpicked live industry cases where the participants work towards developing a feasible and sustainable solution.

Lastly, one key aspect of nailing case competitions is having a core team that is well aware of their capabilities & weaknesses. There would be issues cropping up, arguments but the key is the light at the end of the road – a potentially feasible solution. A good team can indeed be a game-changer. Everybody must have set, defined roles within the team.

With this, I ended up with 2 National Winners, 2 Runners Up, 1 National Semi-finalist, and 3 National Finalists in my tally. Of course, you win some and lose some, but the key thing is “Never Stop, Never Settle.” The entire journey of participating in several competitions (National/ Corporate/ International) plays a pivotal role in shaping up one’s journey. For me, it was about going beyond the stereotypes, building and rebuilding myself. Always remember “What brought you here, won’t take you there.”

Each individual has a different story to tell, but selecting the right atmosphere is of utmost essential. I would like to thank IIM Kashipur and the stakeholders for putting up commendable effort and providing individuals with the right kind of atmosphere in which they can rebuild and transform themselves throughout their stay.

About the Author:
Rahul is an Electronics & Communication Engineer by qualification & completed his MBA from IIM Kashipur (19-21 batch). He has been recognized as the Top 100 Competitive Business Leaders’2021 by Dare2Compete and has been featured in Forbes India. He is an IT professional with 2 years of experience in Cognizant. In his past time, he likes solving puzzles & binging on OTT platforms. You can connect with him on LinkedIn.