Premier Indian Management Colleges Seeing A Rise in Women's Enrollment

By: WE Staff

India's management education has seen a significant increase in women's representation in Master of Business Administration (MBA) courses, driven by changing societal norms, gender inclusivity efforts, and recognition of women's role in the business world. This shift is attributed to educational institutions fostering a more inclusive environment, offering scholarships, mentorship programs, and networking opportunities.

The number of women pursuing MBA degrees has increased significantly, with a 20 per cent increase in women taking the GMAT exam in India over the past five years. This trend is evident in Europe and the Asia-Pacific region, where 70 per cent of one-year full-time MBA programs saw an increase in female applicants.

Indian business schools now have 38 per cent female MBA students which aligns with global trends toward greater gender parity in business education.

Recently, the top management colleges across the country saw the enrollment of the 2024 batch. With the news of newly joined students, came the welcome news of a record number of women enrolling for MBA courses in some of the most prestigious management colleges.

Take, for instance, IIM Kozhikode which achieved a 60 per cent female enrollment in its flagship postgraduate programme in management, marking a significant milestone in women's empowerment in education.

The gender balance in the classrooms of IIM Kozhikode has flipped, with 290 female students and 201 male students in the cohort of 2024 compared to 285 male students and 207 female students last year.

Director of IIM Kozikode, Prof. Debashis Chatterjee said, "At IIM Kozikode, we take immense pride in being a pioneer in promoting gender diversity among Indian B-Schools. This year, we have yet again achieved a significant milestone with close to 60 per cent female students, the highest ever in our history."

In 2019, the institute allocated 60 supernumerary seats for women but now they are not reserving any seats.

Moving towards Karnataka and taking a look at one of the country’s topmost institutes, IIM Bangalore we see that it has achieved a 40 per cent female representation of girls in its 2024-26 Post Graduate Program (PGP) batch. This is the college’s highest-ever enrollment of women.

The program recently welcomed 535 management and 72 business analytics candidates, with 11 international students. The new batch includes 12 women PhD students, making up over 50 per cent, from various backgrounds including startups, defense sectors, IIMB's NSR pre-doc program, and the Mahatma Gandhi National Fellowship (MGNF) program.

Following in the same footsteps, XLRI Delhi NCR has reached a historic 30.7 per cent enrollment of women in its Post Graduate Diploma in Business Management (PGDBM) batch for 2024-26. Demonstrating its commitment to promoting gender diversity and inclusion in business education, the college has seen a rise of 25 per cent compared to the previous years.

XLRI's inclusive admission policies, scholarship programs, mentorship initiatives, and awareness campaigns have attracted a diverse pool of candidates. The institution's commitment to academic excellence and diversity is reflected in its curriculum, faculty, and industry collaborations. The increase in female enrolment is a testament to the institution's initiatives to create a balanced and inclusive learning environment. The rise in non-engineering students also contributes to a more holistic approach to business education.

Another institution reached a milestone in women’s education. IIM Kashipur’s diverse student body, includes 69% female representation in MBA (Analytics), underscoring the evolving landscape of education.

IIM Kashipur has lately witnessed exponential growth in terms of female students across all programs. In the 2019-21 batch, IIM Kashipur recorded 11% female students, while in the 2021-23 batch, it surged to 30%. A special interest from female students in MBA Analytics is visible as females in both batches since the introduction of the course has been significantly high.

Last year IIM Sambalpur also crossed a historic threshold. Its MBA Batch for 2023-2025 was not only the largest in its nine-year history but also had the highest females participated batch, with 60 per cent of the 329 students who registered their names for the course being female. 197 seats saw enrolment by female students which also reflected one of IIM Sambalpur's core values of inclusivity.

As the business world moves swiftly towards an inclusive and diverse future, these management colleges are acting as the catalysts of change. As more and more women hone their managerial skills by enrolling in premier MBA colleges, the future of business is surely looking diverse.