Sairee Chahal is the CEO and Founder of Sheroes.in – a platform that is enabling women to re-start or establish a new beginning on their professional identity. She surely strikes a chord and inspires many women when she makes a statement like ‘I am interested in working with women navigating careers and work life choices’
As a working professional and a mum ,Sairee shares with Mums and stories her journey in life. We are glad to feature this story as part of Women’s day celebration.
“I did not grow up in a family of working women. In fact most women in my immediate family didn’t have an office job. I grew up in small town in India and had a lot of books for company growing up along with a keen interest in the world around me, debating, quizzing and writing. We had a lot of leisure time and lot of support from parents in an otherwise slow and middle class upbringing.
Now I am a mum and have seen the juggle closely but more than that at SHEROES and before that Fleximoms as a response to the environment around me – especially for my peer group and for the aches of businesses struggling to find good talent.
I am a bit of an dabbler – experimental in nature – have done many things in my life – media, start-ups, corporate work and my own business. I got an opportunity to build a start-up when I was 22. This was around the first dot com era. Words like start-ups, exits, funding, VC’s were rare then. The first wave of internet was happening and it was a fascinating time.
Being a mom , life has its own ups and downs. I do feel it is okay till such time it is your own version and works for you. I am not very worried about a messy house or not attending fat weddings. I rather do my work and spend time at home. That is enough. Last year my daughter made me a card on women’s day – it said, “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.” – Dr Seuss . That sums actually who we are indeed.”
On women and mums wanting to work, she says, “There is sure increasing awareness, a cognizance of having more working mums in the workplace along with greater flexibility. However, the adoption is erratic. SHEROES has over 3000 companies offering flex friendly roles and over 50 percent of our opportunities are either work from home or flex friendly.
At Sheroes, over 40K women have found relevant options and a million plus women have been assisted in their career journeys.
To make us feel good at what we are doing, we received a call from Champaran last week, where this woman got our reference from a friend in Patna. She had a degree but never worked and she was looking for options. Someone like that can have a career that fits right there in her home town is awesome.”
On advising women and mums when they want to get back to work along with their life choices, she says, “Go with what appeals to your heart. Do what you want to do. Do what occupies your cranium maximum number of hours. You know where your radar wants to take you.
Get your motivation to get back clear along with a great support system. Things take time to settle but one has to try and get the most of a situation. Don’t always wait for kids to grow up, start as early as possible.”
“ I am a big fan of Anu Agha, Anita Roddick, Zia Mody besides Allicia Castillo. I also think among my peers Anisha Singh of Mydala, Madhumita of Mad Rat Games are pretty cool!
Refusing to make the divide wider between working mums and stay at home mums, she says, “Let us not divide the world into working parents and SAH parents – all parents work but at the same time, inspiring your kids can happen either ways. But do think about the kind of role model you want to be.”
We at Mums and Stories would like to thank Sairee Chahal for sharing with us this wonderful story and would like to end by saying Happy Women’s Day to all the mums today, tomorrow and everyday.
(Image source-Sairee Chahal website).