Courtesy of: The Seen
Courtesy of: The Seen
In early Nov-2014, I was invited to be part of the Sheroes Delhi Summit 2014. It was indeed a pleasure and honor to be part of an event on a topic close to my heart “Indian women at work”. The venue was full of vibrant, positive “feminine” energy – Because majority of the attendees were women! In this post, I’m sharing the LITE (Lessons, Insights, Trivia and Experiences) from one day.
For those who don’t know, Sheroes is a career destination for women professionals, committed to career success and individual work-life fit. For women SHEROES is a gateway to the finest opportunities, resources and conversations. SHEROES welcomes women professional across levels, stages and sectors to pro-actively access the largest OpportunityScape for women. While Sheroes is by design a “social company” and most of their work is online, they conduct events (called Sheroes Summit) all across India every year.
For an overview of Sheroes and the work they do, view Sairee’s (Founder of Sheroes) Introduction below
As of date, it has been a while since the Sheroes Delhi Summit 2014 has elapsed, and I asked myself what were my key takeaways from the event (I believe what you recall days after you attend an event usually stays with you for a long time). So without much ado, sharing the messages which stayed with me.
Thanks Sairee and the team at Sheroes for hosting this event. May there be many more celebrated Sheroes in the years to come. You can only get bigger and grander from here :)
In addition to the above, a few things stood out for me personally:
1) An opportunity to connect, converse, share and hear with women from diverse walks of life and in different phases of their career; No matter what she does / is doing – I recognize that every one of them is trying and striving hard to make it all work – given her context / circumstance / culture and the mind-set of the ecosystem she is part of.
Let’s face the reality | Issues exist. Not one, not two – But aplenty. As a woman after a point you’ve got to recognize and accept it. You’ve got to decide what battles you will fight, and what you will let-go off and make peace with your choices. There is no other “practical” way to live your life – especially if you are a working woman / mother. And I think that message came out in all my conversations with women at the event.
2) A forum for networking (formal / informal) –It is a well-known fact that “(Working) women lose out in more than 1 way because they don’t invest enough in networking”. One because many genuinely don’t have the time / opportunities to connect with women beyond their work. Two, because business networking is not something which is a priority for many women.So the Sheroes event was a wonderful platform for networking – to build new networks and nurture existing ones.
It is also well documented that women are more comfortable networking with other women (even if they are meeting them for the first time), and that was very evident by the camaraderie during the day! The good thing for me was that I got to interact with some women whom I’ve known in the virtual world. So it was cool to see the culmination of the online and offline worlds!
3) Launch of the “Launch of the Big Sister Mentoring Program” as an initiative to look at experienced women professionals mentoring young women who are part the workforce. I do believe that mentors play an important role in shaping the career trajectories of women at work, and had written on the need for mentorship for women at work in this post ” Mentors for working women : Essential but do they exist?” So was personally happy to see and be part of this launch.
4) Sairee in her introductory note mentioned that one of the focus for this year’s event theme is to “bring men into the women at work conversation”. I fully agree. It is indeed high time to bring men into the conversation – not just to listen, but to think, speak and most importantly, act!. There is only so much change women can bring about by talking to and among each other.
From what I see, a lot of men don’t want to be part of this conversation because it is compelling them to move away from their comfort zone, and the way they have been conditioned to think and believe.(And no one really wants / likes to go there!). Here’s the other reality | if men don’t become active participants / contributors to the women at work conversation, long term meaningful change is NOT possible. And it was great to see attendance and participation from several men during the event itself – in terms of sharing their personal stories of / from the women in their life. The fact that they have observed the real issues of ‘women at work’ and are willing to acknowledge and share it in a public forum speaks a lot! So there is hope, and hopefully things will only get better from here!
So as I sign off, I will leave you with the videos of the sessions of the day. Do watch, and share!
Deep Karla’s Session : MD, Founder, Makemytrip.com
James Joseph’s Session : Championing Remote Work, Author God’s Own Office
Fireside Chat with Nikhil and Vidhushi Mehra : Power Couple on Marriage, Parenting and Careers
Tavleen Mehendiratta’s Session : Mobility and Sustainability – Trends we need to know
Natasha Badhwar’s Session : Stories from the Community – of entrepreneurship and transitions
And my friend, Charnita Arora on her take-away’s from the Sheroes Summit 2014
2014 is almost coming to an end and it is that time for all marketers to look out and observe what all the ‘gurus’ / ‘pandits’ / experts are saying about whats in store for next year. As a marketing professional who is responsible for Thought Leadership content – the topic of ‘content marketing’ is very close to my heart, and ‘core to my professional responsibilities’. So when I came across an interesting infographic on 2015 Content Marketing trends, I could not resist sharing on my blog. So here goes:
In 2014, I completed 14 years of professional work experience. Looking back, I can say that I’ve come a long way from where I started. 14 years is indeed a long time in life..!
Sometimes I wonder about how far I’ve come
Sometimes I ponder about what I really achieved
Many times I wonder and ponder on where that time really went!
In all these years, the good thing is that the penchant for ‘new and diverse experiences’ has fueled my career taking me across the world through unique, exciting and enriching destinations, cultures, places, people, work assignments, challenges, failures and successes which have all played their role in what I am today. I have been fortunate to experience in my career (up close and personal) the great, good, bad & ugly (law of averages at play!); and I survived. All these experiences have given me a holistic understanding of business, work and life. Apart from paying the bills, these experiences give me enough thoughts, ideas and material to write regularly! For now, it all comes together in my numerous writings / blogs, which are widely read and immensely popular across the globe. I really can’t say where it will take me, but am open to explore new possibilities, opportunities, paradigms that life throws at me..
During many a pensive moment, I wonder what I learned during all these 14 years. As I go down memory lane, I can say that each year was defining in some way – and there was at least 1 “cherished” lesson that it left me with!
In this post, I am sharing that one key lesson that I learned along the way every year. “Do you really need 14 years of corporate world to learn these lessons?” you might ask.
Obviously NO. And that’s why I’m sharing them in a post on blog. Hopefully, you understand and appreciate each of them much faster than I did!
You can learn them in a moment, with one experience, .. or never understand the gravity and entirety even for a lifetime.
Do you think that Indian women at work issues are spoken about enough? Or rather the right issues are acknowledged enough?
Do you think the Indian women at work is at the cross-roads to manage their personal and professional lives?
Do you have any views, perspectives, opinions on what the real problems are?
Do you think the ‘real conversations’ which make a difference are happening? Are they enough?
Any thoughts on what solutions can make it all better for her – Be it your daughter(-in-law), mother(-in-law), sister(-in-law), friend or any women around you?
Here’s a chance to share your views and perspectives.. All it takes is 3 minutes of your time.
Fill the survey @ http://goo.gl/forms/19slaO7YzS
NOTE: Survey open all through Nov 2014. Please feel free to share in your network
Thanks in advance
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There are so many Indian women who end up taking a career break. If “What options, possibilities and opportunities exist?” is your question, you’ll find answers in this post..
She is well educated
She was a career woman
She was financially independent
She loved her work
She loved the professional identity
She really enjoyed having an active work life
As she traversed the journey of life..
The inevitable happens
Marriage or Motherhood or Ill-health (of self, spouse, kids, ailing parents / in-laws / relatives) come knocking at her life
And then it happens..
THE inevitable CAREER BREAK
Sometimes it is by choice
Sometimes it is by lack of choice
Sometimes it is the cause and effect of the circumstances
She has no escape
Whether she likes it or not, she has to take that CAREER BREAK
For some it is 3 weeks, for some it is 3 months, and for some it is 3 years, and for some it is 30 years, and for some it is a lifetime!
Here’s the thing that I learned when I interact with so many women who had been / are going through a career break |
In this blog, I’m listing down the very many resources which can help (m)any women across India – who are on a career break and are looking to re-enter into active workforce.
I personally believe that many kinds of resources help.
One is surely a list of job postings. Anyone can choose from the available listings based on your skill-set, priorities and terms with which you want to work on.
Beyond that, a lot of planning and mental / emotional preparation goes in for many women to re-integrate into the workplace – Whether it is upgrading of knowledge / resources or a trust-worthy community who shares experiences and perspectives or mentorship to answer questions (however basic they may be!) – They all make a difference
For ease of navigation, I’ve logically grouped these into 3 categories:
CATEGORY 1 : COMMUNITY INITIATIVES
P. Inc – Women Power@Work is an initiative supported by The Times of India that aims at bringing women who have taken a break from work, back into the workforce. The initiative, through seminars, training workshops and access to employers will provide career resources and a service support system to mid-career professional women enabling them to overcome challenges and return to working life. P.inc aims at being a one-stop solution in empowering working women with everything they need to regain their jobs.
ReLauncher – An initiative and a professional returner program for women professionals with the aim of helping them with their non-linear career needs. They offer two kinds of value added services. The first is enricHER, which helps women professionals enhance their resumes, LinkedIn profiles, and master the art of giving interviews. The second is ‘Freelancer and SelfstartHER’ which helps professionals create online presence and support to establish them as entrepreneurs
Sheroes – SHEROES welcomes women professional across levels, stages and sectors to pro-actively access the largest OpportunityScape for women. There is a diverse and large range of opportunities to pick from — these include opportunities with women friendly employers, flex friendly formats, mompreneur programs, partnership programs and more. The SHEROES Community gets access to career resources, information and community sharing. SHEROES Mentors engage actively to help women attain career success on their own terms
Reboot – Reboot is a Network of and for Women Professionals. It is a platform for Women Professionals and Corporate India, to come together. Reboot, will help you figure that: help re-build your confidence, help you with resumes and interview preparation, in short, be with you through your transition, your journey. Reboot is a network for women professionals, who want to get back into the workforce as well as those who are already there and now want to explore flexible and smart, effective and efficient options of work.
FMC (First Mom’s Club) Rebooted – Stories / Narratives of inspiration for women (mothers) who have re-invented themselves to manage the elusive work-life balance : Managing and Balancing work and motherhood
Womens Web – THE place for the Indian woman who wants to stay engaged with the world, who believes that she has a place in the world outside the home. We focus on women’s self-development and pursuit of happiness, by offering information on career development, entrepreneurship, managing work and family, successful women, women’s health, social issues and personal finances. Our goal is to help women learn and grow! While the site shares a lot of diverse content, many of the posts speak about ‘real issues’ from ‘real women’ on how to navigate your career path in case of a break
CATEGORY 2 :JOB POSTINGS
RelaunchHER Job Board
Work from Home Options for women – Work from home opportunities for women. An ever growing community of well qualified women, who are as dedicated towards our work assignments, as to our families. Women in the group are experienced and are from almost every domain. Currently 6000 + in number and are still growing.
FMC Job Bazaar - Periodically, FMC conducts a “Job Bazaar” which provides a marketplace ecosystem for women to share their profiles and job postings / requirements.
CATEGORY 3 : ORGANIZATION / CORPORATE INITIATIVES
Vapasi from ThoughtWorks - Aimed at IT women who are on a career break and keen to resume active work, this program spread over four weeks will help women sharpen your programming skills
Micorsoft Women in Tech – Initiative aimed at bringing in more women into the Indian IT industry. Through this program, Microsoft will attract and retain women talent in the industry. Along with partners, Microsoft will train and mentor one million girls and women in the next 12 months.
Tata Group Second Career Internship Programme (SCIP) -“A career transition management programme for women professionals who have taken a break of 6 months or more for any reason, and wish to re-enter the professional space. The programme provides opportunities for such women to take on flexi-hour assignments with various TATA group companies. Tata Group companies provide live business projects requiring approximately 500 hours of engagement spread over 6 months on a flexi time basis. There is no placement guarantee at the end of the project. However, SCIP consultants have the option of exploring full-time employment on mutually acceptable terms with the respective Group Company if the same exists.” The programme offers live business projects with flexible schedules and project-based employment to women who have taken a career break of six months to eight years. Women are taken on as consultants in departments such as HR, marketing, finance, legal, manufacturing, communication, engineering and other corporate domains, for six months. After this, those who are ready for full-time jobs are absorbed.
Hindustan Lever Limited (HLL) Career By Choice – is based on the insight that there is a need for a gradual transition as women on a career break to step back into the working world. To ease this transition, HLL designed a comprehensive programme that balances a woman’s personal and professional needs. Career By Choice allows women to structure your work around your life and the other way around!
IBM ‘Bring Her Back Program ’ – Meant to attract back women who have taken a mid-career sabbatical. “Any woman professional with the requisite skill-set can apply, and anyone with, at maximum, three years of personal sabbatical qualifies for the programme. Began in 2011
SAP ‘Stay in Touch’ – The company ensures that women employees return to work after a sabbatical or maternity leave.
Mahindra Satyam : Start Over programme – which reaches out to women who have taken a career break.
Axis Bank – India: ‘Re-connect’- offers jobs to former women employees who have left the system in the past 10 years, in select states. The bank now plans to take it national. Began April 2014. To know more, click here.
General Electric, RESTART at GE John F. Welch Technology Center - Hires female technologists and engineers returning from career break at this largest of GE’s global research centers. Send resume or CV to firstname.lastname@example.org
Goldman Sachs Returnship – Programme for women returning after a break. To know more, click here
Google India : gCareer – An opportunity to work with Google for qualified women professionals who have taken a break from active working life for a year or longer. Began in Jaunary 2014. See this article for reference.
CapGemini – As part of the exclusive, women-only campaign, CapGemini is inviting resumes from enthusiastic and talented women—currently on a career break—who are looking to get back to their careers. Click here to know more
Women Scientist Programs – for providing opportunities to women scientists and technologists between the age group of 30-50 years who desire to return to mainstream science and work as bench-level scientists.
While it is heart-warming to see so many initiatives for the cause of the Indian women at the workplace, I believe we still have a long long long way to go ..
NOTE: I have not personally used all of these services, nor do I know the exact current state / status. However, I have read / heard/ know of women who have used some of them. Also, the description for this list is mostly from publicly available information
Did you find this useful? Please share it with any woman who many benefit from this
Did I miss any specific initiative in this list? Please leave a comment to let me know
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As a marketing professional, creating and executing integrated social strategies for business is a core part of my work responsibilities, and hence I am always looking for latest, interesting, insightful and comprehensive content on Social Media data.
I came across one recently, and found it worthy of sharing. Hence posting on my blog..
Did you find it useful? Have you come across any recent data on Social Media?
Leave a comment / link below to let me know
I first heard of the word Sheroe from Sairee Chahal, Founder and CEO of Sheroes.in (A careers community of women achievers). She defined a Sheroe is “Any woman who makes a choice, and makes the choice work for her“. Short, Simple, Sweet, Profound and very relevant for the woman of today – especially if you are a women at work – be it corporate (Corporate Sheroe as I call it) or entrepreneur (entrepreneur Sheroe as I call it) or Mompreneur (Mompreneur Sheroe as I call it). The word caught my fancy when I first heard it, something about it appealed to me – I can’t really pin-point what!
As I saw many Sheroes in many facets of life, I observed that many of them tend to put themselves last. Somewhere in the madness of doing this that and the other, the focus on “self” takes a back-seat. And what I’ve realized that in the long run – IT IS VERY IMPORTANT to invest in yourself.
So in this post, I’m listing out some Must Do’s for all the sheroes at regular frequencies.. – Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Yearly!
What is on your Must Do list? Leave a comment to let me know
Originally published here
I started participating in Tweet chats several months ago. At first, it was just out of curiosity. Over a period of time, I realized the many benefits (not to mention, I enjoyed myself too!) and continue to participate in a few chats regularly. Some of the Twitter chats that I’ve been part of include #Bufferchat, #Eduin, #IndiaHrChat, #chrdx, #hrtrends, etc.
According to this Forbes article, a Tweet chat is a live Twitter event, usually moderated and focused around a general topic. To filter all the chatter on Twitter into a single conversation a hashtag is used. A set time is also established so that the moderator, guest or host is available to engage in the conversation.
From what I’ve read, the very first Tweetchat (popularly known as #blogchat) was hosted Mark Collier in March 2009. The response was so good that Mark continues to host this chat every week – 8 PM Central. Each week a different blogging topic is chosen, For e.g.: sometimes it is about personal blogging topics, other times the focus is about business blogging. There are more than 5000 tweets on an average during every 1 hour chat session!!! For more details, click here .
Whether you’re an entrepreneur, a corporate, an individual, or a community manager – there are many good things about participating in Tweet chats. In this post, I’m listing 6 compelling reasons to be part of Tweet chats
(1) You think : One the reasons why I enjoy being part of Tweet chats is that they compel you to “think on your feet” about very pertinent questions around a topic. Questions which may be you’d never think about. By being part of a tweet chat, not only do you have to think – but answer publicly state your response. So you really need to think quickly and respond concisely and creatively (in 140 chars), which is a good exercise for your left and right brain!
(2) You learn : The other most important benefit of being part of tweet chats is that you learn about the subject under discussion, and a social media skill on how to participate in tweet chats . Most tweet chats involve a combination of personal opinions / perspectives and also generous sharing of previously published articles / resources on the topic in question. So you get to access to some of the best online resources around a subject which is a great learning experience
(3) Your social network only gets better as you connect with a diverse set of individuals / businesses : This is probably one of the most important reasons to be part of Tweet chats. Your networks and relationships make all the difference – both in your professional life or personal life, and especially in the socially connected world. The best way to nurture a relationship is to invest in it – with time, with valuable content, with positivity. Most of the regular tweet chats also have a guest on the chat – Someone who is an expert in the area and he /she shares their perspectives on the questions. Tweet chats provide a great opportunity to connect and converse and engage with the experts, thus setting the initial foundation for any future interactions
(4) You get diverse global perspectives for the same question : This is again one of the key reasons to be part of tweet chats. Many times I find just “listening” to many unique / personal responses to the same question can be a huge learning experience. Reading the insights and trends which give you a holistic view on any subject is in itself is a huge take-away
(5) You can get answers to your own queries : The other good thing personally for me is that many times if I have a question, I raise it during tweet chats and invariably get some of the best answers. So it is like “googling” for your query, just that here the responses are from people who know / are genuinely interested in the subject under discussion. And many times there are several global industry experts / gurus who join into these discussions.
(6) You enhance your own online brand : Sharing your unique views, voice and perspective based on your experiences / thoughts during a tweet chat gives you an opportunity to create and enhance your own online brand – What you say makes all the difference in the online world , and goes to create and enhance your online brand.
And all of the above with the only investments as your time, your thoughts and a willingness to share… Those are my 6 reasons.. Do you participate in tweet chats? Yes / No.. Why? Leave a comment to let me know..
List of Tweet chats @ http://www.gnosisarts.com/index.php?title=Tweetchat_Wiki/By_Day#.VCyQImcxNyU