With each passing year, depending on your outlook towards life, one feels humanity has either progressed, regressed or remained stagnant as before. Such conclusions bear an imprint on work, conversations and relationships, irrespective of which socio-economic class one belongs to.
Life is strewn with events of a personal and professional nature and increasingly with the passage of time, the lines between them have been blurring, especially when it comes to individuals clamouring to be a part of the formal economy, armed with professional educational degrees.
With statistics bearing India’s youthfulness, on account of two-thirds of Indians being under the age of thirty-five, paired with human development indicators and the male-female labour force participation rates – the NSSO survey says that India’s female workforce participation stood at 23.3%, a historic low in 2017-18 (readers are requested to understand the methodology of calculation on their own) – it is apparent that both the private and public sectors need to up our respective work rates.
A more alarming statistic from the NSSO survey is this – amongst women in their prime working ages between 30 – 50, more than two out of three women are not in the workforce, meaning they’re attending to domestic duties or unpaid work only. We are not claiming that domestic duties serve higher precedence over formal work or vice-versa, but a deeper underlying claim can be made, namely – what if a section of this massive cohort of women needs help to return back?
Today’s story on Bangalore Insider is about a platform that serves to empower women to give their best by connecting them to a pool of resources focussed on harnessing their talent towards the formal economy – JobsForHer.
Give a brief info about your startup?
JobsForHer is an end-to-end destination and not just a job portal for women on a career break. We do not stop with providing female talent pool but offer a sensitisation/diversity integration plan for corporates as well.
We provide several branding, engagement and recruitment solutions to our clients who are looking at hiring experienced female talent. Our engagement services include online webinars and expert chats to offline workshops and mentorship events. Our recruitment services include online recruitment drives, hot jobs and reskilling opportunities.
We also host offline events, like the most recent one in September 2019, HerRising, a unique Career Fair and Conference for women, which was attended by 3,000+ women and 30+ well renowned companies. Besides jobs, the event gave women the necessary tools, confidence and connections to help them return to or rise at work. It was a great platform for networking, there were speed mentoring zones and reskilling workshops with career experts as well.
There is no other portal in India that is exclusively for women across career paths, thus putting us in a unique position to solve the distinct challenges a woman has when she wants to get back to or rise in the workforce.
What made you start your startup and what problem does it solve?
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.
When I decided to found JobsForHer in March 2015, there were a lot of blocks in my way:
(a) I had just started working again, just a year ago, after taking a 3.6 year-long career break devoted to motherhood
(b) I hadn’t yet started working full-time and I felt that not picking up my children from school was a deal-breaker
(c) The last time I had founded and run a company was 12 years ago and I didn’t have kids then
(d) My past work experience in education and pharma was diametrically opposite to the fast-paced rollercoaster of tech start-ups.
Slowly and surely, I started piecing it all together.
I started with strong advisors to fill in the gaps in tech, HR, building a scalable start-up, and my confidence. I was determined to build a team of other career-break women like me to understand the challenges an employer would face, and benefit from the fact that they were experienced, recharged and ready to join me immediately. My starting team of 6 were women who had taken breaks for myriad reasons – relocation after marriage, motherhood, elderly care, health – but what they had in common was the fire in their bellies to prove themselves again.
Tell us about yourself, your previous jobs/ventures? What were you doing before this startup?
I am an entrepreneur at heart, a Wharton grad, a wife, a mother-of-two and a woman who restarted her career, thus founding JobsForHer.
I founded JobsForHer to reverse female brain drain from within the Indian workforce. JobsForHer.com is an online portal to enable women to restart their careers post marriage, motherhood, elderly care, etc.
JobsForHer is not my first entrepreneurial venture. I founded my first company, Paragon, right after I graduated from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. When marriage brought me to Bangalore, I started working with Kemwell, a contract pharmaceutical manufacturing company, in the fields of HR, Finance and Marketing strategy.
Where is your startup based out of? Why do you think that is the best place for you?
Although JobsForHer is based in Bangalore, it is available for women and companies across India, with a focus on Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chennai.
How hard is it to have a work-life balance as a startup founder and how do you manage it?
By having a great team at work and great team at home!
Have you raised funding? If yes, then we would like to know the details. If no then please tell us if you are looking to raise.
We have different revenue streams like branding, where we offer a featured employer page and homepage logo to creating a custom microsite. Our engagement services include, FB Live Chat and Mentor Expert Chat to offline mentorship events. Our recruitment services include online recruitment drives, featured hot jobs and reskilling opportunities.
JobsForHer is committed to doing everything necessary to accelerate women’s careers. 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 counseling, confidence building workshops, skills upgradation, networking opportunities, etc.
What gets you excited about this company?
Before the launch of JobsForHer, women used to be advised to hide the gap in their resumes. This was unacceptable to us because usually, the reasons women take a break is to care for their families, children, elderly – reasons for which they should be rewarded, not penalized. We thus decided to trumpet the fact that all the women on our portal have breaks in their career and that is one of their core strengths, not shortcomings. Thus, when a woman searches for job opportunities at JobsForHer, she is rest assured that the companies on our portal are interested in hiring her despite the break, and oftentimes because of it.
Tell us about your team and how did you meet each other?
I was determined to build a team of other career-break women like me who understand how difficult a second career journey is, and benefit from the fact that they were experienced, recharged and ready to join me immediately. My starting team of 5 were women who had taken breaks for myriad reasons – relocation after marriage, motherhood, elderly care, health – but what they had in common was the fire in their bellies to prove themselves again. We are now a growing team of 70+ people, headquartered in Bangalore and operating across India.
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