JobsForHer Co-Founder Neha Bagaria On How They Help Women Restart Their Careers After A Break
Born and brought up in Mumbai, Neha Bagaria graduated from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania with majors in Finance, Marketing and MIS. She had always been a social entrepreneur at heart.
During her last semester in college, Neha founded her first company 'Paragon' to introduce the Advanced Placement Program in India, becoming the College Board Representative of India, which is the body that governs the SAT and AP examinations worldwide.
Through the AP program, Indian high-school students could receive credits and placements at prestigious universities in the US, instead of having to repeat courses when in college.
When marriage brought her to Bangalore, Neha started working with Kemwell, a pharmaceutical services company, in the fields of HR, Finance and Marketing strategy. At her new company, even though the growth and development that she experienced excited her, Neha found that it was social entrepreneurship which continued to ignite a fire within her.
That's what led her to founding JobsForHer - a jobs portal dedicated to enabling women to restart their careers after a break.
In an exclusive interview with CrazyEngineers, we got Neha Bagaria to talk about the entrepreneurial bug in her, the competition they face, their expansion plans and a lot more. Read on!
Neha Bagaria - Founder, JobsForHer
CE: When did the entrepreneurial bug hit you? When did you decide to quit your job at Kemwell Biopharma?
Neha Bagaria: When my first-born came into the world in December 2009, a baby gave birth to a mother. I became the primary caretaker of this precious little life, and he became the core of my being. Nothing else held more importance, and I decided to take a sabbatical from work. I became a full-time mother and my life revolved around my baby. Three years later, I had my second baby and again my perspective changed. I realized that it was about time I got back to being the person I used to be: it was time to restart my career.
I restarted my career at my previous company and started regaining my confidence when I realized that I could hit the ground running even after the 3-year career break.
As my responsibilities at work increased, so did the quality of time I spent with my children, husband, family, friends. I was no longer in a brain coma, no longer needy and emotional, no longer sweating the small stuff.
I became a happier and more fulfilled person which translated into becoming a happier mother and happier wife. Additionally, my renewed passion and intention to prove myself again, helped me contribute at work with greater dedication and commitment.
This personal journey opened my eyes to the accomplished women around me who stopped working when they got married, or became mothers, or for a variety of other personal reasons, and then never returned to the workforce.
I started delving into the reasons behind this female brain drain and it became clear that there were many re-entry challenges that need to be addressed in India. These range from requiring flexibility, regaining confidence, retraining, overcoming biases and changing mindsets. It made me determined to enable other women to restart their careers and connect them with whatever they require to do so, thus founding JobsForHer.com on International Women’s Day, March 2015.
CE: Could you explain JobForHer for your readers? How does it work?
Neha Bagaria: JobsForHer is committed to reverse the female brain drain that is currently happening from within the Indian workforce. JobsForHer is a connecting portal for women who wish to restart their careers after a break.
Whether your break was for life events like marriage, motherhood, elderly care, or other personal reasons, we will help your career get back on track. Our portal connects you to a range of job opportunities at reputed companies who are ready to welcome you back!
Women on a career break can apply for various job profiles, ranging from full-time, part-time, work-from-home, returnee internships and freelance projects. Women can sign-in on www.jobsforher.com, upload their resume and start applying for relevant job openings.
CE: How does JobForHer support women to restart their careers?
Neha Bagaria: Our focus on supporting women are in two specific ways:
1) Providing second career job opportunities for women on a career break
2) Providing career-related services such as confidence building workshops, resume-writing assistance, job-readiness workshops, etc. for women on a career-break.
CE: How tough is it to convince companies/employers to use your service and what do you do about it?
Diversity is one of the primary goals of companies across India because they have realized that a leaky talent pipeline is a relevant issue that affects the productivity of an organization.
One of our most successful services to companies is the diversity drive, a promotional + recruitment campaign for companies to overcome the above challenges and make successful hires and benefit from our unique female talent pool.
CE: What are the expansion plans? Where do you see JobForHer two years down the line?
Neha Bagaria: Our expansion plans include reaching out to the multitude of companies who are looking at hiring experienced talent and women who are looking at restarting their careers so that they can benefit from our platform. We also plan to continue expanding the breadth and depth of our reskilling services as well as leveraging on our female community.
CE: Whom do you consider your biggest competitors? How do you maintain an edge over them?
Neha Bagaria: We are the only job portal in the country to focus on connecting women on a career break with relevant job openings. We also offer career-related services such as confidence building workshops, resume-writing assistance, job-readiness workshops, etc that ensures that a women looking to re-enter the workforce after a break is Job-ready and confident before she restarts.
CE: Entrepreneurship is a life changing experience for many. How would you describe your journey as a startup owner so far? How does being an entrepreneur change you?
Neha Bagaria: I have been an entrepreneur ever since I graduated from college (in fact, even before that) and am quite frankly, addicted to it. Entrepreneurship, and especially social entrepreneurship, provides you the opportunity to create an impact while finding profitability. The tech entrepreneurial space especially makes you realize how much is possible in the span of a few days and few weeks, leave alone a few years.