Meet Ms. Neha Bagaria is an entrepreneur at heart, a Wharton grad, a wife, a mother-of-two and a woman who restarted her career, thus founding JobsForHer.
JobsForHer is not Neha’s first entrepreneurial venture. She founded her first company Paragon after graduating from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Paragon, an educational centre based in Bombay, introduced the Advanced Placement Program for high school students in India, with Neha also serving as the College Board Representative of India.
Marriage brought her to Bangalore, where she started working with Kemwell, a contract pharmaceutical manufacturing company, in the fields of HR, Finance and Marketing strategy. She personally took a career break when she had her children. During this personal journey, she became aware of the various difficulties a woman faces in order to re-enter the workforce. She then became committed to the cause of enabling women to restart their careers and founded JobsForHer.com to help them achieve their full potential.
Let’s know more about her journey…
I took a 3.6-year break in my own career when I had my children. During this personal journey, I became aware of the various difficulties a woman faces in order to re-enter the workforce. I then became committed to the cause of enabling women to restart their careers and founded JobsForHer.com on International Women’s Day, 2015.
JobsForHer is a connecting portal that enables women on a professional break to restart their careers. Our vision is to reverse female brain drain within the Indian workforce by facilitating various job opportunities to women who are on a sabbatical and help them reconnect with their careers
Challenges – faced & learning’s…
When I decided to start JobsForHer, there were a lot of challenges in my way:
(a) I had started working after taking a 3.6 year-long career break devoted to motherhood so there was the challenge of whether I could devote my time to both, my kids and my new business.
(b) I hadn’t yet started working full-time and I felt that not picking up my children from school was a deal-breaker. I was fighting against the traditional stereotyping where women are made to believe they are the sole caretakers.
(c) The last time I founded and ran a company was 12 years ago and I didn’t have kids then.
(d) There was also the challenge that my past work experience was in education and pharma, which was diametrically opposite to the fast-paced rollercoaster world of tech start-ups. However, I looked past this fear and took the risk of starting something completely new.
Slowly and surely, I started piecing it all together. I started with strong advisors to fill in the gaps in tech, HR, to build a scalable start-up. This gave me the confidence and I felt I could achieve the scalability I had envisioned.
For a woman entrepreneur to succeed in the competitive business landscape, it is imperative that we become comfortable giving equal weight age to our careers as we do to our other obligations, roles and responsibilities. And for that, we need to build a thick skin and a strong support system.
Until we do, we won’t be able to create the ecosystem required to support this challenging journey to the top of the corporate ladder. We will need to rally the troops and have our backbone structure in place – parents, in-laws, extended family, friends, and yes, husband too. We will need to stop caring about people who don’t understand and help the people whom we care about to understand. We will need to make sacrifices and compromises about being there for everyone all the time and having everything perfect. And we will need to stop feeling apologetic about it.
Goal for the next 5 years…
JobsForHer is committed to doing everything necessary to enable a woman to restart her career. From finding suitable job opportunities to reskilling to leveraging community. Our current expansion plans involve scaling up our reach to create larger impact, scaling up the opportunities provided on the portal as well as helping women in bridging the gaps through career-related services such as mentorship, resume-writing assistance, second career counselling, confidence building workshops, skills up gradation, networking opportunities, etc.
Message to all the readers…
I am greatly inspired by Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Facebook and author of Lean In. In her book, Sheryl Sandberg explains candidly shares her own challenges in managing her personal and professional lives. Her words have deeply resonated with me. It has made me realise how important it is that women support one another to succeed professionally. Women need to form a supportive community of mentors and role models, where there is a constant sharing of ideas and a support system where they enjoy a nurturing environment.
Throughout my entrepreneurial journey, I have realised how often women tend to hold themselves back because of fear. I have thus realised how important it is to recognise our fears and to name them; only then can we find a path to overcome them. Whenever I am at a crossroads, I ask myself this question, “What would you do if you weren’t afraid?” It is critical that we don’t let our fears hold ourselves back and stride on, confident of figuring things out. Eventually.
Follow Her Journey –
- Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/jobsforher
- Twitter – https://twitter.com/jobsforher
- You Tube – https://www.youtube.com/jobsforher
- LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/company/jobsforher?report.success=KJ_KkFGTDCfMt-A7wV3Fn9Yvgwr02Kd6AZHGx4bQCDiP6-2rfP2oxyVoEQiPrcAQ7Bf
Pic Credit: http://www.quotezine.com/hard-work-quotes-40-sayings-to-strengthen-your-work-ethic/