India has some 586.47 million females, according to a census site. Of these, the adults too form a significant number. Alas, not many of them can easily find employment. Many take a maternity break after a period at work and find it hard to return to jobs. But this is only one reason why a lot of smart and sincere women in India today languish in unemployment while rising costs and personal fulfilment dreams soar with each passing day.
Beyond the individual needs, it is the nation, too, which suffers without recourse to this able skilled and talented task force.
In early 2011 I’d joined an initiative called Fleximoms which offered, as the name suggests, freelance and home based work for stay home mothers and such. As I wasn’t too sure what I really wanted to do I never really visited the site much.
Along the way it grew and developed into Sheroes, a warm and very user friendly web site for women looking for employment opportunities. But it’s much more than just another job site.
And this Saturday I had a chance to see Sheroes in action at a cosy little Meetup in the Venture Centre, Pune.
I reached there at about 3 and met the few others who had also arrived early: a young lady with a career background in HR, a software specialist, a psychologist and a content writer. The latter’s life had literally been turned around after she discovered Sheroes.
The first speaker, Shweta Shalini, broke the ice with her exhortations and humour. Besides some very acute observations on how to balance family and profession, she loosened up audience tension with her wit and charm.
Sheroe Sonali Brahma followed up by briefly discussing what the website was all about and quickly invited and replied to questions.
By then there was a goodly crowd of women of various ages and from various professional backgrounds. The questions flew fast and furious, showing how thirsty the participants were for more information on Sheroes and how much they craved the mentoring on offer.
Young Sheroe Paroma Sen then sketched some plans for the future and opened the floor for Venture Centre to tell us about its vision and mission.
And then we all trooped out for some wonderful tea and biscuits and group photos and networking at the canteen.
Which is where I met author Madhuri Maitra.
And loads of starry eyed bubbly young ladies of all ages variously into art from recycled materials, organic farming, entrepreneurs and financial experts…
I look forwards to future Sheroe interactions with a heart full of hope and I actually did a little dance on the road on my way home!