India’s Most Gender Diverse Business Schools – IIM Indore & XLRI lead the way

There has been a growing clamour for more women in top managerial positions in Indian companies over the last few years. From a time just about 5 years back in 2011 when none of the top IIMs had even 20% women candidates, a lot of progress has been made. We may see things changing in the corporate board rooms in India in a few years. It is now common to see over 1/3rd women in many top business schools in India. We at InsideIIM only see this figure going up across schools in the coming years. It has become an important criteria to attract recruiters to one’s business school as well.

Gender Diversity Ratios of Top B-Schools with a batch greater than 300 Students – Class of 2018

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Name Program Ratio (female:male) Batch Size
IIM Indore PGP 38:62 452
XLRI Jamshedpur PGDM 37:63 360
IIM Bangalore PGP 28:72 407
IIM Lucknow ABM/PGP 27:73 462
Great Lakes Chennai PGPM 27:73 398
IIM Kozhikode PGPM 26:74 385
IIM Ahmedabad PGP 21:79 396
IMT Ghaziabad PGDM 19:81 470
IIM Calcutta PGP 16:84 462

(If the name of your school is missing it is possible that data wasn’t shared with us.)

The key thing to note is that the number of seats has more than doubled and the gender diversity across most schools has improved at the same time too. Hence, the absolute number of women management grads graduating every year has been growing phenomenally. Is the growth enough given the low base? Probably not. But, no one can fault the directors, deans and admission teams for the lack of trying.

4 out of the top 6 IIMs now give extra points to women in the interview shortlisting criteria for their gender. This advantage is carried forward during final selection as well.

IIM Indore leads the table in gender diversity for schools with a batch of more than 300 students. In a batch of 450+ students to have 38% women is quite remarkable. A couple of years back IIM Indore had managed 130+ women candidates without having to award extra marks during the shortlisting process. However, with the intakes of Class of 2017 and Class of 2018, IIM Indore too started awarding extra points to women candidates joining the likes of IIM Lucknow, IIM Kozhikode and IIM Calcutta. (The ratio for IIM Indore would only get better if the 120 students of IPM batch are added to the mix.)

XLRI has always had a very healthy gender ratio. In fact the HRM batch will often have 50% women in the batch taking the overall ratio higher. However, even the BM batch almost always had 25% odd women. XLRI does not look at acads for shortlisting candidates for interview. Also, XLRI does not have to answer RTI queries making it easier to manage diversity in the final selection on a more subjective criteria.

IIM Bangalore has been able to boost its gender diversity quotient despite not awarding extra marks to women. The key reason being that acads have a healthy weight in the shortlisting criteria and CAT score weight is low.

IIM Lucknow has had a healthy number of women in its batch for 4 years now. It was the first school to award extra marks during the shortlisting stage to women candidates starting from  CAT 2012.

IIM Kozhikode’s former director Prof.Chaterjee was the first one to vocally talk about improving gender ratio in the media and IIM Kozhikode for sometime had no sectional cutoffs to ensure more women could get calls. After IIM Lucknow, IIM Kozhikode too decided to award extra marks to women starting CAT 2012. Without sectional cutoffs and with extra points for gender diversity, ┬áthe class of 2015 at IIM Kozhikode had 50% women. (Check RTI response here). However, since then IIM K has changed its criteria again and re-introduced sectional cutoffs and the % of women in the batch has halved (RTI query revealed students getting calls at less than 45%ile in one section).

IIM Calcutta’s case is interesting. Despite giving extra points to women since CAT 2013, the ratio hasn’t improved significantly. One of the key reasons is the high weight given to the CAT Score and relatively high sectional cutoffs. This is about to change now with the latest criteria introduced for CAT 2016.

IIM Ahmedabad has tried to improve diversity on two counts – get more non-engineers and and get more women through its changed admission criteria for the last 3 years. The idea is to reward performers from different academic disciplines rather than rely on CAT scores and academic scores alone. IIM A and IIM B are the only 2 old IIMs not to give extra points for gender diversity.

Gender Diversity Ratios of Top B-Schools with a batch of less than 300 Students – Class of 2018


Name Program Ratio (female:male) Batch Size
TISS, Mumbai MA in HRM&LR 52:48 64
MICA PGDM 47:53 180
IIM Ranchi PGDM/PGDRHM 37:63 186
IIM Indore Mumbai PGP 36:64 69
SPJIMR Mumbai PGDM 35:65 238
MISB Bocconi Mumbai PGDM 33:67 70
SIBM Pune MBA 32:68 222
IIM Raipur PGP 31:69 205
IIM Udaipur PGP 30:70 183
IIM Shillong PGDM 21:79 178
IIM Trichy PGP 18:82 178
FMS Delhi MBA 15:85 226
IIM Nagpur PGP 13:87 55
IIM Bodh Gaya PGP 06:94 54
IIM Rohtak PGP 06:94 154


MICA has a history of an almost equal gender ratio since inception. There have been many years when number of women have been more than the men. You can read more about it here.

SPJIMR with a batch of 238 students having 35% women is an impressive stat overall. Another private school that has always valued diversity of all kinds and their selection criteria ensures diversity. They also don’t have to be answerable through RTIs which makes the process ensuring diversity easier for them. There is a high amount of subjectivity in the criteria through essays and profile based selections – similar to many schools abroad.(If the name of your school is missing it is possible that data wasn’t shared with us.)

IIM Ranchi, IIM Raipur, IIM Udaipur and SIBM Pune too have healthy gender ratio statistics for their relatively larger batch size among schools of this size. (30% is the new threshold as far as we are concerned. All schools should be able to cross this limit.)

FMS’ heavy reliance on the CAT score makes it difficult for them to tilt this ratio.

(IIFT, MICA, ISB, MDI, TAPMI, NMIMS, IMI did not respond to queries for data for this piece. Update – MICA Stats have been added.)

Read our previous stories on this topic

Women in IIMs – Class of 2015

Has the race for women in IIMs gone too far?

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