The Founder & CEO of JobsForHer connected with The Global Hues to talk about her experience, success, and journey. Neha Bagaria founded an online platform – JobsForHer, enabling women to kick start their careers by connecting them with jobs, reskilling, mentors, community, and inspiration. Neha is an entrepreneur at heart, a mother of two boys, an avid reader, a closet dancer, and a travel enthusiast.
She is a Wharton School graduate, who started her entrepreneurial journey with Paragon- a company bringing the advanced placement program to Indian high-school students. When marriage took her to Bangalore from Mumbai, she started working at Kemwell, a contract pharmaceutical manufacturing company, in the field of HR, Finance, and Marketing Strategy. Neha took a break of three-and-a-half years in her career when she had her children.
During her journey of restarting her own career, she became aware of the various difficulties women face to re-enter the workforce. Neha then became committed to the cause of enabling women to accelerate their careers and launched JobsForHer.com on International Women’s Day in 2015, with a team of 5 other women returnees, working out of Social, Church Street, a resto-bar in Bangalore.
That team has now grown to over 60 members, with 80% women returnees and a culture of high ownership, deep accountability, and inclusive support to one another. “I dealt with everything from guilt management to time management to fear management to biases management,” says Bagaria. Today, Neha has broken many glass ceilings by being featured in Forbes, Deccan Herald, and many more, as a game-changer and innovator.
A platform of women and for women
The unique idea of helping women restart their careers was the birthchild of JobsForHer. Today, the platform attracts more than 300,000 monthly visitors and has a registered user base of over 2 million women across India. JobsForHer has created a wide reach of 15 million women on a monthly basis by effectively using social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter. They have partnered with leading players across diverse industries as well as SMEs and startups to create job opportunities and returnee internships.
These include companies like Accenture, Credit Suisse, Capgemini, Oracle, Nike, Amazon, PepsiCo, Aditya Birla, Biocon just to name a few. . Not just full-time opportunities, but flexible options such as part-time and volunteer opportunities are also available to JobsForHer candidates Alongside, Bagaria has partnered with more than 500 reskilling vendors to provide resume writing training, soft skills coaching, and technology training to candidates. Women returnees are guided and regain their confidence before reappearing in the job market.
“This is an online marketplace model where we connect women to all that is required to accelerate their careers,” says Bagaria. “The companies then take the discussion forward with the shortlisted applicants.”
Women are bound to many obligations throughout their lifetime. They drop out from their careers and dream jobs due to marriage, maternity, or child-care/elder-care. Many women try to return to the workspace, however, they are extremely challenged by the changing ideas, design, and atmosphere of corporates. “The world is a dynamic place, constantly evolving; even a few years break means lagging years behind when you look at the impact of technology. We are bridging this gap by mentoring and reskilling women and providing their careers a much-needed push,” says Bagaria.
Leveraging technology to solve the problems of millions; using AI and ML to find suitable career paths for diverse women, the potential to create change and impact the workspace for women is distinctly representative of JobsForHer.
“Women re-starters represent a latent talent pool,” says Bagaria. “They are experienced, capable, recharged, mature women who are often available to join companies immediately.”
Advice for women entrepreneurs
Dream big. Keep innovating. Keep growing and thriving for the better. Don’t be content with running small-scale businesses.
Challenges faced by emerging women entrepreneurs
Bagaria believes that all entrepreneurs have similar problems of finding product-market fit, funding & scaling ventures, creating sustainable revenue streams; when it comes to women entrepreneurs, there are additional complications like work-life balance, gender biases among investors.
Large, Small, Medium Enterprises, and startups, all come under the clientele of JobsForHer. “The services falling in the entire value chain of diversity requirements – from branding to engagement to recruitment and reskilling is managed by JobsForHer,” says Neha.
Daily routine and Hobbies
Neha starts her day with a brisk workout. After breakfast with her family and getting the kids to school (physical or currently online!), her work routine starts. The evenings are again devoted to time with her children, checking on their homework and classes. After family dinner and children’s bedtimes, she and her husband finally get some time together before they call it a day.
Hobbies: Dance, Art, Reading, Travel
Team and Ethos
Bagaria believes that people are her greatest asset. “The ethos of the JobsForHer team is high flexibility and support, combined with high achievement and ownership”, she says. The company respects every member like its part of its extended family.
The company promotes work-life balance, as an important aspect of a healthy work environment. The team is cooperative & collaborative and always open to new ideas & innovations. “Work hard, have fun, make a difference. Fun games and celebrations of achievements, and milestones, and festivities are part of our office culture. At JobsForHer we never miss an opportunity to celebrate anything – no matter how big or small,” said Neha.
Advice for upcoming female entrepreneurs
Neha advises women entrepreneurs to remain thick-skinned to biases and failures and work on building a strong support system for the team, company, and themselves.
‘Lean in’ by Sheryl Sandberg is a book that inspires Neha in her life.
Awards and Milestones
- Forbes India’s WPower Trailblazers list of 25 groundbreaking women achievers as a game-changer and innovator, who is shattering stereotypes.
- Deccan Herald’s list of ’19 Changemakers to Watch Out For in 2019′.
- Most Impactful Women in Technology 2020 by Women in Analytics.
Vision and Future Projects
JobsForHer plans to continue accelerating women’s careers until one day, we witness gender parity in the Indian workplace In order to do so, the company is geared up to leverage technology to find custom solutions to the unique challenges faced by women returnees, women in tech and women in leadership.
“What would you do if you weren’t afraid?”