The (Em)Power List 2018: Sairee Chahal
41, Tech Entrepreneur
It’s no secret that gender bias in the Indian workplace is rampant, and there’s no hiding the skewed ratio between the number of men and women at any organisation. Recognising the struggles women face in realising their aspirations, entrepreneur Sairee Chahal started Sheroes, a womens-only online community platform to support women via interest-based communities and a one-on-one counselling helpline, that actively support women across various stages of their growth journeys. Career guidance, health and relationships are core communities. Take Piyusha Vir, who has a hospitality background but longed to be a writer. Her dream unravelled at the Sheroes Summit, a platform connecting women professionals and industry leaders, where she got a chance to interact with authors. Vir soon mustered the courage to transition to blogging full-time. Sheroes also hosts interactive expert sessions on the platform and has built up a panel of champions who activity mentor and support other women in the communities. What’s more, the platform encourages discussions on subjects like health and relationships, and via the Sheroes Summit, aims at changing the gender narrative. Chahal’s inspiring venture has seen her qualify as a finalist for the Cartier Women’s Initiative Award in 2012 and win the Forbes W-Power Trailblazers award in 2017. As of September 2016, she has been an Aspen Fellow.
“I think she’s incredibly smart for recognising and tackling this very real gap in the Indian workforce and proving that it can be a woman’s world. As a woman, it feels good knowing that there are people like her out there looking out for me.”
– Spenta Wadia, 25, Graphic Designer, Mumbai