#AspiringShe has chosen Sairee Chahal – Founder, CEO- SHEROES www.sheroes.in – as One of Our Top 100 Women achievers in India! Wonderful interviewing her ! Applaud her initiative and efforts for empowering women by creating SHEROES!
About Sairee Chahal – Founder and CEO – SHEROES – An Aspen Leadership Fellow, Sairee is India’s foremost evangelist for women at work and Convener of the SHEROES Summit – India’s largest women and business forum. An M.Phil from JNU and a PGDBM holder from IMT Ghaziabad, Sairee kickstarted her professional career while at college before co-founding her first startup. She later worked at corporates like Heidrick and Struggles and CII. Recognized for her achievements globally, Sairee is a Devi Award winner, apart from Femina Achievers Award, Cartier Award Alumni, Editor’s choice for L’Oreal Femina Women’s Award, Business Today and Most Powerful Women in Indian Business. Under Sairee’s leadership, SHEROES embarks on a journey to impact over 100 million women in the next decade.
SHEROES is the largest growth network for women, delivered as an ecosystem of opportunities to help women #TakeCharge of their careers and lives with the core values of Trust, Empathy and Connectedness. By weaving diversity and inclusion, the platform offers a number of unique offerings – a dedicated 24×7 helpline; MARS – a product that bridges the gap between businesses and the work-from-home force; SHE- a product to prevent sexual harassment at work. SHEROES also hosts the SHEROES summits, a multi-city flagship event, The SHIFT- Men’s Conference alongside with community meets across geographies. In May 2017, SHEROES launched a mobile app, to help its community tap into the collective wisdom of a million-plus women. An organization committed to women’s aspirations, SHEROES is supported by an ecosystem of 300 partners and over 15,000 companies.
What or who has been your motivation behind your success?
I always knew I had to be an entrepreneur, having dabbled in media, consulting, startups, for learning and experience. But when my daughter was born, that was a turning point for me; I experienced first-hand, what women around the world experience everyday – this need to overcompensate, by working harder so they’re not out of the running, post maternity.
As I met more and more women, I knew intuitively that women in general – entrepreneurs, stay-at-home moms, first jobbers, professionals – needed support and more importantly there was this gap, between women’s aspirations and the relevance of workplaces towards these aspirations.
So, we started off as a platform supporting mothers looking to return to work, then expanding into a career and job destination for all women, and now we have pivoted into a full-fledged growth network for all kinds of women.
This is a pretty new concept based on my belief that for personal growth to be sustainable it has to span the full gamut of a woman’s aspirations – from work and fitness to healthy relationships, fiscal health and travel. I guess this understanding and the women I meet, everyday – entrepreneurs, housewives, students, mompreneurs, single mothers, among others – deeply motivate me.
How has been your journey? How easy or tough it’s been to achieve your goals!
It’s not been easy from any angle! But it’s definitely been challenging, fun, exciting, at times frustrating, but nevertheless a journey paved with immense learning. I’ve met all kinds of people – picked up some mentors, champions, and investors along the way. When the going gets tough, as is always the case when building a business, I think of a young woman named Sathiya Sundari, who got on to our platform from a small village in Tamil Nadu. A single mom, and the first person in her family to complete Class 12, she’s now on the fast track to starting her own business
Who is your role model in Life?
My mother – she was the first take-charge women I came across, someone who shaped my attitudes in a big way. Her leadership inspired me to make my own rules. There’s also a lot I’m learning from my daughter, everyday. In still amazes me that she single-handedly feeds almost 20-25 streeties in our neighbourhood, everyday, and she’s just 10 years old! She gets empathy like no one I know.
Tell us something exclusive about yourself? What you love to do other than your work?
Fitness is my absolute cornerstone. Walking, especially nature walks, yoga and commando workouts are my oxygen. I only wear sneakers, and my go-to style is jeans and collared tees, or comfy dresses. Predictably I love travel – places and the people I meet, especially women across the world inspire me, expand my perspective. I recently got to listen to Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of Norway, one of the most gender-equal countries. A mom of two, holding such an influential position makes me believe more and more that a gender-equal society is possible, and we have to fight the good fight to get there.
Your Inspiration in Life?
My business, my family, and of course, SHEROES around the world
Where do you see yourself five years from now!?
I want us to be able to reach 100 million Indian women and support their aspirations!
On a lighter note are you a travel freak! if yes which is your favorite destination and why!
Yes, definitely a travel freak. I like the mountains and getting away from the bustle of the city. I recently was in Aspen in Colorado, as part of the Aspen Fellowship. Learning in the Rocky Mountains is so much more fun! I also like travelling in Europe – the public transport is so good, you can get around without much hassle, and yes, you can walk a lot, which I love.
Your One Liner for All other Women Aspirants?
Stop complaining, take charge.
Your Message to our readers…
This is a great time be a woman in India. Whatever you need, ask, reach out, express yourself. There’s always someone willing to support you. The world can be your oyster, today. But only if you take charge.