“When women do better, economies do better.” – Christine Lagarde, former Managing Director and Chairman of the Executive Board, International Monetary Fund
What is development? It’s a fundamental question that we can all recite the answer to. But can the world really progress if half its population is held back from realizing its full potential? I can almost hear the resounding no, yet, this is how we have lived for centuries. Somewhere on our journey into civilization, we ended up creating narrow identity confines, which were subsequently passed on to the younger generations. The youth is the future, and we must empower them to defy societal norms, redefine roles and shatter such stereotypes. As I reflect and gather my thoughts, I dream of a time when the topic in consideration would simply become “Why This Is the Right Time
for Women to Get an MBA.”
Although the march for the emancipation of women has led to greater participation in most of the educational streams, we see few women in leadership roles. The world of business largely remains divested of the rewards of diversity. The overwhelmingly male-dominated boardrooms are vestiges of this culture. Every developing nation has a responsibility to take all its citizens on the journey of growth alike. For this to truly happen, we must put an end to the under-representation of women in leadership. A large number of corporate houses today attribute their success to the inclusion of women and diversity in their board. Research indicates that organizations with at least three women on their board perform better in terms of returns on equity.
Unfortunately, sexism is still blatantly prevalent in the corporate world. People tend to adore a successful man, but not so much a successful woman. Therefore, it is critical for women to up their game. With every passing day, however, more companies are realizing the need to have better female representation in the top management. Premier B-schools, too, are beginning to appreciate the richer quality of discussions that take place in a diverse classroom. This thought revolution poses the perfect window for aspiring women to step into the field of business, making it the right time to get an MBA. Apart from budding talent, there are many women in mid-level roles in organizations, who have little chances of making it to the top. Getting a one-year MBA can significantly boost their chances of rising through the ranks.
With exemplary leaders like Indra Nooyi, former CEO, PepsiCo and Sheryl Sandberg, COO, Facebook to inspire us, more women are aspiring to be CXO-level honchos. Sandberg, in her book titled “Lean In,” talks about how women leaders would eventually improve the footing of all women. “We stand on the shoulders of the women who came before us, women who had to fight for the rights that we now take for granted,” she says. We must carry on with this legacy as this is the best time to get an MBA and build a society that embraces women leaders.
Speaking from personal experience, getting into a B-school can be life-altering for a woman or anyone for that matter. I am learning skills that can be applied to the professional and personal facets of life. It teaches one to be more analytical while holding on to innovation and be somewhat more risk-tolerant than people naturally are. MBAs get a lot of industry exposure and a chance to expand their realm of thought. The purely student-run nature of premier B-schools prepares students to tackle challenges and toughens them up for the corporate world. Most importantly, they pick-up time management skills as they go.
So why is it the right time to get an MBA for women? The real question is, why not? It is high time we stopped being held back or holding ourselves back. It is the best time to get an MBA and make the world witness the real power of women. It is the right time to get an MBA and work collectively towards a brighter tomorrow. As Warren Buffet rightly put it, “Look what has happened over the past 300 years using half our talent. Just imagine what’s going to happen when we go full blast with 100%.”
About the Author:
Meghna is a management student at IIM Udaipur and a student representative in the institute’s Media & Industry Interaction Cell. With prior experience of two years in the IT industry and a lifetime in literature, she loves to write both codes and blogs. An adventure seeker at heart, she enjoys psychological thrillers and feels at home on a beach and a boardroom alike. You can connect with her on LinkedIn