A startup’s journey from an unequal opportunity employer to equal opportunity marketer.
The two names had been finalized. It was to be announced the next day in the college. These two were to be first campus hires of Whenda. Then the campus placement coordinator called up and told, ‘we have a problem!’. I was half-anticipating that ‘joining an unknown startup’ would be the problem. I had interviewed about 34 candidates and after a lot of Skype sessions had shortlisted 6 talented students. As much as I wanted to offer paid internships for all six of them, the financial constraints didn’t allow for it. I wanted to offer two candidates, a boy and a girl. In my mind, Whenda had to be an equal opportunity employer right from the start.
What the co-ordinator said, was a problem of another kind. He said, ‘The parents are reluctant to send their kid, all alone, to Bengaluru for internship and job’. I asked, ‘Whose parents?’. He mentioned the girl’s name. It seemed the parents were worried about sending their child all alone to an unknown city 1000 kms away. There was a pause in the line as I didn’t know how to react. He filled in the void saying that there might be a solution. I listened patiently and after hashing out the details, agreed to his solution.
The next day, all the students gathered to know the outcome of their interview. Three names were announced. 1 boy and 2 girls had been hired by Whenda. This was the first company they had given interviews for and they had got placed. And with that, we became an un-equal opportunity employer where 66.67% of our workforce are women.
Whenda is an un-equal opportunity Employer!
Over the last 7 months, these 3 employees along with 2 interns (again a male and female) have toiled hard and built an amazing Asset Management SaaS product for Small and Medium Enterprises in India. Its traditional for every software product/solution to sport the beta tag at this stage. Beta is the second letter in Greek language. In software parlance, it means preview (or limited preview) version before the actual released. But in hindi, ‘beta’ (or bay-ta) means ‘son’. Personally, ‘beta’ is a little irksome to me, considering that lot of this software specifically designed and tested for India, by its ‘Beti’ (which in Hindi is a girl/daughter).
On International Women’s day 2017 we were proud to announce that Whenda Asset Management is officially now in Beti (and not beta).