Jessy Radwan is a working force. After Jessy got married at 22, she started working in sales and real estate as the industry was booming back then. When Jessy got pregnant, she kept working for the entire 9 months. However, when she gave birth to her daughter Talia she decided to stay at home for a year and a half and get back to work after she’s adjusted to the change. When Jessy got back to applying for jobs, she was surprised by the attitude she was met with after they’d find out that she has a daughter. They wouldn’t be in favor of hiring her immediately after telling her that she would be a great fit. She’d find that the entire energy of the interview would shift just because she’s a mother.
Jessy couldn’t find the job that would fulfill her career and allow her to be with her daughter at the same time. As a result, Jessy realized that this is how many mothers are feeling with the discrimination against them because of their motherhood. That is when Jessy founded Carerha, the first online platform that offers women flexible hybrid jobs to include women again in the job market force and get them back on the map.
The work that Carerha is doing is important, and it helps women feel seen and acknowledged in the workforce. It also helps them fulfill their potential without feeling discriminated against just because they chose to live their lives.
We sat down with the amazing Jessy Radwan to know more about her journey!
When did the idea for Carerha originate?
When I found that I couldn’t find any flexible jobs that would allow me to be with my kids and go after my career at the same time. I decided to do something about it. I started the group “Hire Super Mama” and it was to mainly help moms find flexible jobs. We did programs to help moms know how to get back to the market. We offered courses to help them know how to get into things like digital marketing and the tech-oriented fields. Through that group, we found that not only mothers are interested in the flexibility aspect, it was all women.
Women in general carry a bigger responsibility towards their kids and taking care of the house and when they add work to that, they end up going through long burn-out phases. So many of them go through a lot along the way. This is where Carerha was born; an inclusive platform. It is the first website to offer flexible jobs for women not just mothers, in the aim to solve the pain all women go through in terms of work life balance.
Tell us about the biggest challenges you face with Carerha and how you overcome them…
The biggest challenge I face with Carerha is that until this moment, people are not educated on what a flexible job means.
They think flexible means freelance which is not true.
Flexible jobs can be full-time and in big companies that have very high demands but offer more flexibility. A flexible job can allow people to come at 11 and leave at 4. It can offer two days work from home, it can be hybrid, it can be from 9 to 2. There isn’t a lot of awareness on what a flexible job means. It takes time to educate people on that concept. Whether it’s companies or people looking for work.
In what ways does your work shape you?
I personally went through this pain. I couldn’t find a job, I couldn’t make anything for myself. So, to know that many women and mothers are going through the same thing, and they wish for someone to understand what they’re going through. That’s the most fulfilling thing for me. To feel that I’m helping people and to know that the work I’m doing is not going to waste. There’s real impact and there are people benefiting from the message we’re trying to send and the work we’re trying to do.
What has been your proudest moment so far?
My proudest moment was when I was showing Talia my daughter my video while I was on stage and telling my story. She looked at me and said “Mom, when I grow up, I’m going to be like you. I will be on stage and share my story.” That was very inspiring for me. Because work might make me feel that I’m not doing enough, but she sees that as something very powerful. It really made a difference for me.
What’s Carerha’s Next Move?
Carerha is launching “Carerha Job Fair: Real Impact Edition”. In Carerha’s summit that took place in October, we talked about the challenges that women go through to reach work-life balance and the things that these women need to reach the root of the problem of why they’re left out of the market force. We also tackled why their economic participation isn’t big in comparison to men. In Carerha Job Fair: Real Impact Edition, we’ll be tackling the solution. It will be the first job fair made for women offering full-time flexible and hybrid jobs as well as 30 workshops, and different career industries for everyone.
The job fair will also include career counseling, career coaching, CV reviewing, and mockup interviews to help everyone get ready. We will also host around 10 career circuses. For example, a company would talk about opportunities in the tech field for women at their place. This job fair is a solution to the problems we’re speaking about. We’re definitely walking the talk and giving the solution for the women who are looking for it. We’re solving the root of the problem, which is women needing flexible jobs, and these flexible jobs don’t exist in the market, so we’re pushing for more events and platforms that can host and offer these jobs for women. What we’re aiming for after the job fair is to find jobs for a big number of women with the needed flexibility and help them reach work-life balance and gender equality.
Have you ever faced any discrimination at work just because you’re a woman? If so, tell us more…
No, I didn’t feel it because I’m a woman but more so because I am a mother. It happened in interviews or people pre-judging me not based on my qualifications or expertees, but they judged me based on the fact that I’m a mother. So, they would look at me as less qualified because I had my own responsibilities.
How, in your opinion, can powerful female entrepreneurs support each other?
If female entrepreneurs helped each other, it would be very empowering because each and every one of them is good at something. So, they can all support each other in different areas, and it would result in very inspiring stories. At the same time, women know what each one of them is going through, even if at different stages of their lives. They understand each other the most. When something like that is taken from a positive perspective, the result would be so powerful.
Most Egyptian women have had to answer the question “Hanefra7 Biki Emta ” before in reference to marriage, despite any accomplishments they may have already made, what would/did you say in response to that question?
I got married early, so thank God I didn’t hear it a lot. But throughout college, I used to hear it, I was very young then. The pressure builds up for young girls and they’re always expected to get married like it’s the ultimate goal. So, unfortunately, that’s something in our culture that needs to change. It’s such an annoying question. It makes many women feel judged based on expectations while marriage is something that just comes along. It’s not something that is planned, so to think of it as a goal is wrong. It’s a beautiful experience.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
The success of Carerha and Carerha summit wouldn’t have happened without my beautiful team. My team was working on Carerha as if it was their baby. Everyone put their all into it. And they all helped each other. We all learned from each other. Everyone was selfless, everyone was trying to help in every area. They all cared about the outcome. I think that was the main pillar of the summit’s success. I’d like to give a huge shoutout to my team.