Neha Bagaria, Founder and CEO, Jobsforher
Neha founded JobsForHer in March 2015 to enable women to get back to the workplace. JobsForHer has worked with over 2 million women, 7500 companies, more than 1000 mentors, and over 500 re-skilling partners.
The participation of women in the workforce in India is just 20% and participation of men in the workforce is 80%. There are many reasons for this gender gap in the workforce. Women in India, generally are not encouraged to work.
Even if they work, they are expected to quit their jobs post marriage or after having a baby.
Neha Bagaria, our guest for today, took a four-year break from her career after she became a mother. After four years when she decided to return to work, she saw a huge gender gap in the workplace. She decided to fill it.
Neha founded JobsForHer in March 2015 to enable women to get back to the workplace.
JobsForHer has worked with over 2 million women, 7500 companies, more than 1000 mentors, and over 500 re-skilling partners. Prior to her career break, she was working with Kembel in Bangalore.
Before she moved to Bangalore, she was the founder and CEO of Paragon, an educational startup based in Mumbai.
For the work she has done, Neha has been listed in the Forbes India’s Women Power list as well. Apart from this, she has been recognized widely for her initiative.
Why does India struggle to get women to work?
Neha believes that there are a lot of biases that lie in the workplace.
- If a woman is working full time, she is made to feel like a bad mother or a bad daughter-in-law by society. She herself feels guilty about it as women in India have this family conditioning.
- Since there are fewer women in the workplace, the organizations and their policies are built by men, for men, and of men. Women struggle to adjust to the workplace culture. Etc.
What can be done to remove gender biases from society?
Neha says that these biases not only lie in the minds of men, but each one of us depending upon our upbringing and exposure. She says that women who have never seen their mothers or aunts work feel that the same is expected from them and every other woman.
So first and foremost we need to create awareness about these biases. Neha tells us that biases can be conscious and unconscious. Many times we are not even aware that we are biased for or against something.
How does Neha create awareness in women to rejoin the workforce?
Neha says that creating awareness in women to rejoin the workforce is the core of JobsForHer. For the first four years, the tagline of JobsForHer was, ‘Ready, Set, Restart’. Their entire focus was to make women restart their careers. Today, their tagline is, ‘Start, Restart, Rise’ where Restart is the center of their mission. To do this, they have a three-pronged approach.
- First, they make sure that they have enough opportunities for women. This is why they work with a lot of different companies and try to drive a change in their mindsets to hire women.
- Secondly, they focus on the learning component. Neha tells us that they lean heavily on their partners for this step. Women are helped in resume writing, career counseling, technology learning, re-skilling, and much more so that women can feel the confidence of jumping back to the workplace.
- Lastly, they provide women with a community. They make women surrounded by positive and like-minded women who encourage them to Restart.
The Herky Club
Neha tells us that women are traditionally in very anti-professional networking. Whenever we think about professional networking, we can see men playing golf, in bars or clubs. JobsForHer launched a women-only professional Networking club to share, learn and grow together called, ‘The Herky Club’.
The idea of this Club is to bring sisterhood to society. It is said that women are women’s biggest enemy. They want to break this myth too. Neha believes that women are women’s biggest supporters as they know their struggles and have been through them.
This Club has seen many success stories of not only women restarting their careers after marriage, but also women getting into leadership roles.
Neha’s message to the women of the society
Neha says that the whole world has suffered from the pandemic. This is high time that we realize that there lies an opportunity in every crisis. Due to this pandemic, the companies have become very flexible because not only women but every employee, especially the millennial generation) is asking for flexibility.
Neha advises women to grab the opportunity that is coming their way as the work is more flexible now.
JobsForHer is an online connecting portal to enables women to start, restart and rise their careers. Neha’s vision is to reverse the female brain drain within the Indian workforce by connecting women with job opportunities, mentorship, reskilling, networking, community, and inspiration.
She took a 3.6-year break in my own career when she had my children. During this personal journey, she became aware of the various difficulties a woman faces in order to re-enter the workforce.
Furthermore, she found out that 50% of all working women in India drop out of the workforce in 3 years, resulting in over 10 million graduate and postgrad women currently on a break in India. She then became committed to the cause of enabling women to restart their careers, thus founding JobsForHer on International Women’s Day, 2015.
Neha’s LinkedIn- https://in.linkedin.com/in/nehajobsforher