By Supriya Sehgal
On March 8th, people around the world will come together to celebrate International Women’s Day. This global holiday recognizes the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women and serves as a reminder of the progress that still needs to be made towards gender equality. One area where progress is being made is in the field of management education, which is empowering women to break down barriers and reach their full potential in the business world.
According to the National Education Policy 2020, “Women’s participation in higher education has increased substantially in the last decade, with the Gross Enrolment Ratio for women at the tertiary level currently standing at 20.2%.” Additionally, the policy notes that there is a need to “promote diversity and gender parity in higher education.”
Management education plays a crucial role in preparing students for various managerial roles in different industries. Historically, the business world has been dominated by men, and women have faced significant challenges in breaking through the glass ceiling. However, in recent years, we have seen a positive shift towards greater gender diversity in leadership positions, thanks in part to the increasing number of women pursuing business education.
In India, the number of women enrolling in management programs has been steadily increasing. According to the All India Council for Technical Education, women make up nearly 40% of students enrolled in management programs in the country. This is a significant increase from just a few years ago and is a testament to the growing recognition of the value of women’s contributions in the business world.
As a management faculty at a PGDM college, I have seen firsthand the impact that management education can have on women’s careers. Women who pursue PGDM programs gain the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in various business roles, including management and leadership positions. Through case studies, group projects, and internships, students learn how to navigate complex business environments, make strategic decisions, and communicate effectively with different stakeholders.
Furthermore, management education can also help women overcome some of the systemic barriers that have historically limited their opportunities. For example, by teaching negotiation skills, students learn how to advocate for themselves and their ideas, which can be especially important for women who may be more likely to face gender-based discrimination in the workplace. Additionally, through courses on diversity and inclusion, students learn how to create more welcoming and equitable work environments for all employees.
On International Women’s Day, we celebrate the achievements and contributions of women in different fields and acknowledge the progress that has been made towards gender equality. However, we must also recognize that there is still much work to be done to ensure that women have equal opportunities in all aspects of life. By continuing to promote gender diversity and inclusion in management education, we can create a more equitable and prosperous future for all.
The author is associate professor, Maharaja Agrasen Business School. Views are personal.