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What's With The B-School Bias Against Male Engineers?

Don’t write them off just because they are male engineers.

10/01/2017 6:23 PM IST | Updated 20/01/2017 5:40 PM IST
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When everyone was busy breaking their unrealistic New Year resolutions in the first week of January, MBA aspirants were waiting for their Common Admission Test (CAT) results. CAT is the exam which people take when they are clueless about their lives yet want to earn more money than they deserve—so that a few years down the line they can repay their loans which they took to study in a prestigious MBA college. They don't see the irony at all. This festival of CAT comes every year around Diwali and is celebrated widely across the country by eating Arun Sharma's widely acclaimed sweets. The results arrive by Lohri and they too are celebrated widely across the country by students burning their hopes and aspirations in the bonfire made of their parents' anger and disappointment.

Like every year, the results were supposed to be announced by 15th of January but then the CAT authorities decided that there is no point in making students feel worse in the second week of January when they can do it by the end of the first week. And so they did.

There isn't any way left to keep male engineers out from the toppers' list, unless they start awarding free points to people who have clean rooms and 90% attendance in college.

Every student expects a miracle in this exam due to its infamous normalisation of scores; however, CAT appears to give no fucks. This year too, 20 people who scored in the 100th percentile were—*drum roll*—male engineers. If there was a graph, you'd see you male engineers topping this test over the last few years—and commerce/arts students lying in the negative-axis. It's not like CAT hasn't realised this skewed ratio. To improve this situation, the authorities tried to throw off male engineers by making English a compulsory section and giving it equal weightage to quants. But as it turns out, male engineers aren't as bad in English as everyone else is in quants. Plus, think about it. If a guy can handle three coding languages and the monstrousness of digital signal processing, I doubt he'll be scared of a few grammar rules.

As much as the CAT authorities may try to justify their bias towards people who aren't engineers, they have to think from the engineers' point of view as well.

Now, a typical male engineer comes from a middle-class background, with hopes of learning and earning well. After the second semester, though, a male engineer starts observing that he has thousands of clones around him. If he carries on along the same path, he will end up in Infosys or TCS or some other mass-recruiting company with a paltry 20k monthly salary. So, what's the way out? To study more, top his class and score a job at Microsoft? That's just silly. No. An MBA is the answer. An MBA has always been the answer. They start studying from the third semester for CAT, which they can take only when they are in their final year. This is four semesters of preparation—that's a lot. With all this time in hand, they have one more advantage—their math is way stronger than that of others giving the exam, thanks to the countless hours they spent studying for the IIT Joint Entrance Examination. In case you are wondering, yes, it's the same maths syllabus that's required for this exam too. Basically, all they try to do in these semesters is improve their English. Even a chimpanzee can learn English if given this much time and if he's fuelled by visions of lakhs of rupees in his bank account by the age of 40.

So, to handle this awkward situation of engineers at the top of the tree, during the interview process, B-schools started awarding five extra points to girls, 10 extra points to people from a background other than engineering, free brownie points to anyone with a professional degree and so on—basically they did everything they could to send male engineers scuttling. For all this, 90% of any batch still comprises engineers. There isn't any way left to keep male engineers out from the toppers' list, unless they start awarding free points to people who have clean rooms and 90% attendance in college. Only by doing this might they be able to eliminate 90% of engineers from taking this test.

Engineers are there because they deserve to be. Don't mess with them by awarding more points to a guy with a commerce background. It hurts...

But, I don't understand why they try to keep male engineers from entering their campuses. The answer lies in the diverse backgrounds of these engineers. This is as stupid as it sounds. Someone please ask them to visit any random engineering college, analyse 60 students of a computer engineering batch and prove that they are all the same. Each one of them is diverse as fuck. I have studied in an engineering college and the randomness was so random that even the word random can't describe my four years of seeing those weirdoes. There were guys who never shaved in four years and guys who would clean shave even their chest; guys who never attended classes and guys who never missed any; guys who had rock bands and guys who were part of debating societies; guys (I mean, a guy) who had a girlfriend and guys who didn't. Each one of them was different. And smart. You want diversity; you get diversity. But you have to give them a chance, at least. Don't write them off just because they are engineers. If they are capable of topping your test, they deserve a chance to prove that they will be capable at everything else too. Make your course a bit random, not the batch. Include more extra-curricular activities, organise more fests, give them a chance to travel, do whatever you feel like it... but don't write them off just because they are male engineers. They are there because they deserve to be. Don't mess with them by awarding more points to a guy with a commerce background. It hurts, and it hurts a fucking lot.

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