A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Neha Bagaria moved to Bengaluru in 2005 and started working at her husband’s company.

She recalls that even when she was pregnant in 2010, she would hardly skip official meetings or work. While leaving for delivery, she did not clear her desk.

“I told our employees that I am going to come back after a 40-day maternity break, but then those 40 days became four years,” says the 41-year-old.

In the process, she found herself losing her identity as an ambitious career-driven woman. When she would visit her friends in New York, she was often questioned about her career.

The mother of two started questioning her capabilities. “I realised if I want to be a happy mother, I have to be a happy person, and for that, I need to get back to work,” she says.

In a bid to regain confidence and help other mothers struggling with the same, she started HerKey — a career engagement platform — in 2015.

Since then, her startup has partnered with over 10,000 companies and has helped advance over 3.5 million women professionals across the country.

“We create job alerts for women seeking jobs on our platform. We help them upskill so that they are updated about their industry and prepare for job interviews,” she says.

“It is all about investing in talent. Because if they do not invest, they lose out on the talent pool that is away from the workforce,” she adds.

Neha says she sees herself in these women. “Life does not end after a maternity break. That pause does not need to be a full stop, it can just be a comma,” she says.