Poornima, Founder Director of India’s first exclusive digital professional platform and magazine for women – WOMAN AT WORK
This month’s Startup Grind was witness to a Question-Answer session with the Founder Director of India’s first exclusive computerized proficient stage and magazine for ladies – WOMAN AT WORK (WAW) (womanatwork.in). Poornima’ s vision is to make Woman at Work THE GO TO place for all that a lady needs to proceed or come back to the profitable workforce; as a worker or a business visionary.
Through other media Poornima realized that conversations related to motherhood, parenting, home management, kids, husbands etc. were the focus and not professional work. Also, less than 10% women spoke at professional platforms. Thus there seemed a need to bridge this gap and bring a professional platform to the forefront to aid this bridge. Along with this, each woman needs to find a right partner, who believe in a career Identity. Thus a balance needs to be maintained between work at home and office and equitable responsibility division needs to happen at all levels to achieve this goal.
Her corporate career and no background in Publishing and Media did not hold her back into diving deep into this initiative. Early on she made several mistakes in blindly believing in first vendors who came her way, which she wishes had she done some due diligence. It would have helped if she would have networked in startup ecosystems to understand how Entrepreneurship works. She burnt lot of cash early 6-8 months and lost lot of time. But then at the end of it, it has been a motivating and fulfilling journey.
Bootstrapping the business, Woman at Work Reaches 400k Professional women workforce across Metros, 2 Tier & 3 Tier cities. She proudly says that contrary to what a common thought would be, Women at work is for profit Business venture and intends to empower women through work. The team publishes 150-200 articles a month and the reach is primarily to English speaking audience as of now, and plans of making it available in vernacular languages are on cards. Early consumers/adopters of Woman at Work were Corporates and Digital Conglomerates. The intent is to build Women-centric ecosystems through women-centric content and enabling the partnership with like-minded communities like CII Women’s Initiatives and Govt Organisations.
The patriarchal society has evolved to a level where women are educated but mostly for better marriage prospects, hence 90% of women step out of the workforce every year. Constant pressure from society, family, and biological issues bring women to a juncture where they end up giving away their careers and become full-time homemakers. Had they been happy with this step would have been a satisfying factor, but they are not, which creates an unrest in their minds. This is where the platform Woman at Work helps Passion to meet Purpose, and the right resources get enablers.
MADE BY HER (MbH) is a program that allows women to participate as corporate vendors thru Supplier Diversity programs. Participating women need to have 51% stake in the company or be proprietors (100%). MbH has tied up with 35-40 corporates and is growing by the day. Types of businesses in this program are Designers, Gifting Companies, Event management Companies, IT, Services etc.
Check out the complete video here :
Startup Grind Pune hosts Poornima Parameswaran Batish