IvyCap's Imagine Series Episode 2 was an engaging discussion about the changing scenario for Working Women in the post Covid Environment. Anju Gupta moderated a panel of global women leaders ; Karena Belin : CEO of WHub and COO/CFO/RO of AngelHub , Lee Lee Ong : Project Director at Hamburg Invest, Germany, Kori Higgins : Senior Director at Stellar Development Foundation (SDF) and Ruchira Shukla the Regional Lead for IFC's Disruptive Technologies and VC Funds. The panel raised interesting points about how the current situation has actually leveled even more the playing field brought out the working wome’s ability to multi-task even more strongly. The panel highlighted some industry specific impacts related to working women, and what some opportunities are being created with a focus on the regions of India, Germany, and Hong Kong, and USA.

Some interesting perspectives:

  1. With no travel demands working women have more flexibility in work timings that is an enabler
  2. Startups and even corporations should look at project based milestones vs time based and also project based hiring which will help to manage costs.
  3. Now more than ever, investors are more discerning and talent and quality will be the laser focus.
  4. Companies should explore realigning incentives to support working women such as childcare credits, credits for food delivery etc. designed to reduce domestic responsibilities.
  5. Industries need to look at changing policies to deal with the remote working and to support working women from home.

Karena Belin, CEO of WHub and COO/CFO/RO of AngelHub, is passionate about helping startups succeed. She successfully co-founded WHub and AngelHub with her partner and associate Karen Contet Farzam. Together they are on a mission to empower startups to drive wealth and economic growth. Karena is also a member of the Global FinTech Core Group at the Government of Andhra Pradesh, Ex-Com member and Vice President of The Indus Entrepreneurs Network (TiE) HK, ambassador to the German Senat in Berlin through SUAB (Startup Asia Berlin), member of the FinTech Association of Hong Kong (FTAHK), President of the board of the parent organisation (PFO) at Hong Kong International School, as well as driving diversity and inclusion as board member of WOW at the American Women’s Association.

Lee Lee Ong is the Project Director at Hamburg Invest, Germany. She takes care of the acquisitions and investments from South Asia and South East Asia into Hamburg. She was born and raised in Malaysia and graduated with a Master of Arts from the University of Wolverhampton in UK. Lee Lee worked in a creative industry in Singapore prior moving to Hamburg in 2002. She loves connecting with new people and hearing their amazing stories as well as values the issue of sustainability in all aspects. In her spare time, she enjoys cycling, travelling and cooking. She is her absolute happiest among family and friends.

Anju Gupta is the Co Founder and President at IvyCamp. She has over 15 year’s experience in the Product Management and Marketing in the software industry. For the past 15 years she has worked in a number of roles (most recently as Sr. Director) at Risk Management Solutions Inc., in California, the leading provider of catastrophe risk models for the global re/insurance industry. Her roles have included building risk assessment models for earthquakes, leading the software development cycle for RMSs first ASP weather derivatives product, leading the product management team for RMS’s core catastrophe software product line (revenue of over $100 million), playing a key role in the core team that laid the groundwork for RMS next generation modelling platform, and the architect of RMSs first usage based pricing methodology for its next generation platform.

Kori Higgins is the Senior Director for Global Development at the Stellar Development Foundation (SDF), the organization that supports the Stellar blockchain protocol. At SDF, Kori leads the New York City office, is a global relationship builder, and runs operations for the product team. An expert in technology and innovation, Kori works to increase inclusivity in the global financial markets and has a deep interest in the sociological implications of technological progress. Prior to her work at SDF, Kori led business development at a New York City quantitative hedge fund, and in a prior life, worked in US politics in Washington, DC.

Ruchira Shukla has been the Regional Lead for IFC's Disruptive Technologies and Venture Capital Funds business in South Asia overseeing investments in technology startups across stages, investments in VC Funds and initiatives to support and grow the venture capital ecosystem in South Asia. She has led investments across a range of sectors including Consumer Internet, B2B eCommerce, HealthTech, EduTech, eLogistics and AI/IoT applications. Ruchira is an active board member on a number of startup boards and represents IFC on the boards of Byju, Blackbuck, Bizongo, Power2SME, 1mg and on the Limited Partner Advisory Committees of IDG, Stellaris and Pi Ventures. She has worked for over 25 years across venture capital and private equity, investment banking, M&A, strategy consulting and held operational roles in technology startups across US, Europe and India. She has familiarity with and strong networks in several markets globally – India, US, Canada, Europe.