The participation of women in the information technology (IT) sector has increased to 34% in this decade, according to a 2017-2018 report from the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.
When based in Pune Pooja Bangad He completed his computer science degree from the University of Pune, landed jobs at big tech companies like Wipro, Zensar, Infosys, Cognizant and others, and decided to work with Cognizant in 2015.
“I was always good at academics. Algorithms were fun for me and piqued my interest,” says Pooja. His story.
After working in the tech industry for many years, Pooja witnessed a glaring gap in the representation of women in mid- and senior-level positions in tech.
This prompted Pooja and her college friend, Tejas Kulkarni, to team up to start SheWork to help women get back into their careers in tech after a break.
Founded in 2019, based in Pune She works is a job sharing platform and helps companies hire and deploy talent within 48 hours. There are currently over 20,000 talents on the website and approximately 80% of them are women.
Today, the startup is home to tech giants like TechMahindra, Rebel Foods, Dell, TCS, and others.
Pooja says, “There are simply not enough women in middle and top management positions. Women who are on gap year or have taken a break from their careers because they get married, expect a pregnancy, move to another place, it is very difficult for them to return to work due to lack of opportunities.”
“The idea to launch this platform came from here. We started this platform in 2019 with the idea of closing this career gap among professional women. Through SheWork, we enable companies to hire women. Professional women have the flexibility to work remotely and choose projects that fit with their personal and professional goals,” she adds.
With SheWork, Pooja says she wanted to create a flexible work environment for women.
“We wanted to create something more flexible and reliable for women. This concept gave birth to an ecosystem called SheWork, where women have full flexibility in terms of location: they can choose to work remotely or on-site, they can choose the duration of the project they want to work on, etc.”, she adds.
The platform also provides talent advocates for women looking for tech jobs to guide them towards the project of their liking.
Pooja Bangad, co-founder of SheWork
How does it work?
Explaining how SheWork works, Pooja says, “Our platform enables companies to hire specialized talent in a matter of hours by scheduling a meeting and planning the project on the fly. Every member of the SheWork.in community is pre-screened before entering the community.”
“At SheWork, we believe there is still a certain gender gap and bias, and we are on a mission to disrupt the industry accordingly,” she adds.
SheWork supports the concept of shared employment by promoting companies to hire more women and also helps a variety of startups of all scales to effectively win business through the platform.
“In this way, it is a two-way tool where you can share your ideal resources with the companies that are looking and vice versa,” adds Pooja.
investment and advice
While the founders raised the initial investment for the startup from friends and family, they have so far been a profitable company with their team size doubling and seeing 30 percent quarter-over-quarter growth.
SheWork is now looking to launch in the US after a successful stint in India.
While SheWork acts as a go-between for companies and women looking for work after a gap year, several giants today have initiatives in the same domain. It is mandatory for companies to provide six months of maternity leave to women in India.
Amazon offers the Ramp Back Program, which allows employees to smoothly transition to work, post their maternity/paternity leave.
Mashreq has launched the “Returning Mothers Program”, curated with a special focus on helping new mothers/women returning to work after a career break.
Many companies are taking the plunge, but what sets SheWork apart is that it provides a platform for small and medium-sized businesses to extend flexible work projects to women who want to re-enter the workforce.
A reluctant entrepreneur, Pooja urges women not to give up opportunities.
“To run a company, you need to recruit deserving women. We need to create an atmosphere at work where women can thrive. Furthermore, increasing the participation of women and achieving a balanced representation of women and men in all sectors will reshape everything. It is time to create a more women-friendly environment within companies,” says Pooja.