ICICI Bank chief Chanda Kochhar on Monday stressing the need to be an 'all-rounder' said that excessive focus on quantitative aptitude (QA) in entrance tests for lower representation of girls in business schools. "The MBA entrance exams are so quantitative-oriented that it keeps out more and more women from joining the MBA classes. If we were to make the entrance exams more all-rounded you could see more participation," Kochhar said.
Kochhar is the managing director and chief executive of the country's largest private sector lender. Kochhar complaining about the lesser number of girls in B-schools pointed out that girls constitute only 10 per cent to 15 per cent in B-schools presently.
Kochhar, who herself went to a B-school before joining the bank, also questioned the need for excessive stress on quantitative aptitude (QA) and lesser on managerial abilities. She said that developing managerial abilities don't require so much of focus on mathematics. "If there is a course that is quant-oriented, you need to focus on that but if it is a course that is more general management oriented, do you not need entrance examinations which are more all round?" she said.
A majority of reputed institutes holding MBA tests focus on QA, data interpretation, logical reasoning and verbal ability while selecting students. QA includes topics considered tedious like trigonometry, quadratic equations, logarithm etc.
Kochhar called for making workplaces more diverse saying a business can deliver better results with more percentage of women. She also said that businesses need to have more woman to cater to the growing demands of a large base of consumers who are women. She also rued that over 80 per cent of 'workforce-ready' women are not joining the organised sector, and exhorted women to believe in themselves and be ready to put in long hours and travel if the work demands. She also said that women can have a work-life balance while pursuing a career.