This Is JobsForHer's Neha Bagaria, Mother Of 2 And Entrepreneur
“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.”
It’s the 2nd anniversary of JobsForHer this Women’s Day. This is the story of how Neha Bagaria, a mother of two sons went on to startup JobsForHer, a job portal for women looking to rejoin the workforce.
What’s your journey towards setting up JobsForHer?
Right after graduating from Wharton School, I founded my first startup Paragon in Mumbai to bring the Advanced Placement Program to Indian high school students and become the College Board representative of India. When marriage brought me to Bangalore, I shut down Paragon and started working at Kemwell, a contract pharmaceutical manufacturing company, in the fields of HR, finance and marketing strategy.
I took three and a half years off from 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. Furthermore, I found out that 50 percent of all working women in India drop out of the workforce in 3 years. I then became committed to the cause of enabling women to restart their careers, thus founding JobsForHer on International Women’s Day, 2015.
JobsForHer is an online 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 were on sabbatical, and help them reconnect with their careers.
What would be your advice to budding women entrepreneurs in the country?
For a woman entrepreneur to succeed in the competitive business landscape, it is imperative that we become comfortable giving equal weightage 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.
A success from JobsForHer
Uma Maheshwari, 48, got her job as branch head and associate vice president of Kotak’s second largest branch in Karnataka through JobsForHer.
Uma Maheshwari was AVP/branch head at HDFC Bank with 18 years of work experience, when she decided to take a break to spend quality time with her teenage children. After a 5 year break, she decided to get back to the workforce. She started her job search through the traditional job hunting routes. Her resume got a lot of hits and she got scores of first interviews every week. However, after every telephone interview, they would hear about her break, and the job opening would seemingly disappear.
Uma started doubting her abilities in spite of a glorious career. It was then that her eye fortuitously caught a newspaper article about JobsForHer. She uploaded her resume and within 3 days she was interviewing with Kotak Mahindra Bank and was offered the job on the spot. She filed papers with HR that evening and was back at work the following Monday as branch head of Kotak’s second-largest branch in Karnataka.
Uma said about JobsForHer, “When a woman takes a career break, it is not an easy journey to return to the workforce. From feeling outdated to losing your network, the biggest challenge that women face is a loss of confidence that it is possible for them to restart their careers.
A portal like JobsForHer is a boon to such women and makes them realize how many companies are out there which would like to hire them and also shows them the steps required to get there.”
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