For an equal footing

Updated: 18 October, 2020 08:47 IST | Anju Maskeri | Mumbai

A women's career collective is helping job seekers with tools and knowledge to succeed despite glaring inequalities

An offline event held by Kool Kanya before the lockdown
An offline event held by Kool Kanya before the lockdown

Vanshika Goenka, founder of Kool Kanya, a career community for women, was all of five when she overheard a conversation between her father and his relatives. With two daughters, he was asked who'd take care of the family business. "I wondered why the question needed to be asked when we were around," she says.

Years later, Goenka began working for a company that manufactured sanitary pads. Ironically, she was the only woman in the room, working to create a product for women. "It hit me that there were just not enough women in workspaces."

That's how Kool Kanya was born. The aim of the collective is to help every women pursue a career of her choice. The platform provides extensive career resources and community support from peers and experts.

Vanshika Goenka
Vanshika Goenka

The portal currently caters to freelancers, independent professionals, consultants and women who work from home or have their own businesses. The sectors include content writing, design and digital marketing. "We create and disseminate content on upskilling and entrepreneurship, mental health and self care." The group also organises monthly online events and webinars on digital marketing, business and social media, to provide participants with the tools and knowledge to succeed. In order to enable women to reclaim their power and activate their full potential, they also hold workshops to undo years of social conditioning.

Goenka says her research on the subject of women at the workplace threw up dismal statistics. Only a quarter of the country's women are part of the workforce as compared to 78 per cent men. "One of the largest reasons women don't work is because of the lack of flexibility. The wage gap is glaring with women earning only 65 per cent of what men earn for the same work," says Goenka, adding that other challenges range from no guidance on how to transition through different life stages to building confidence.

During the lockdown, they started an initiative titled, GetWork 2020, to support women who are looking for jobs. The online hiring event saw participation from 13 companies across 18 fields and 697 applications. "We will soon start a marketplace for independent professionals and freelancers," she says.

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First Published: 18 October, 2020 08:46 IST

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