Hello, I am Asha Saha, a 25-year-old female new entrepreneur. I am a goal-oriented and motivated individual who has obtained a first-class Bachelor’s degree with distinction in Computer Application BSc with Honors and MSc in Data Networks & Security. I've lived in 4 countries, speak 3 languages, code in 4 and I have 4 hobbies that have the potential to become a post-retirement career choice. But I believe I have finally found purpose in entrepreneurship with a cause.
I founded Spokesperson to work with female-identifying and LGBTQIA+ owned businesses. My purpose is to build a network of people who's stories and work are not as exposed as it should be. With Spokesperson, I aim to raise awareness and build a narrative.
"To truly listen to a diversity of voices, we need to remind each other that every conversation is a negotiation: a strong facilitator is not enough; we each have a responsibility to limit our own speaking to make space for those whose voices are heard less."
My ex-employer had told me that I would have to become an expert in generating valuable content for 35+-year-old male entrepreneurs addressing their personal life problems (note: his clients are not predominantly male neither is the workforce), and my first reaction was - "I need to start looking for another job". I instantly rendered his instruction sexist and myself powerless because I had to go back to work the next day and write a newsletter about "Finance Tips by Warren Buffett." For the next week, work felt like a drag and I constantly felt compromised. I didn't quite realize that it would have such an effect but complying and writing that newsletter made me feel oppressed - not by him but my own silence.
I quit that job the same month, for more than that reason. I heard Ethan Mollick on a podcast once, "Overconfidence is the biggest psychological predictor of whether or not you’re going to become an entrepreneur. Having misplaced confidence in yourself and thinking you can win when other people always lose is a strong predictor of entrepreneurship. We call this kind of overconfidence classic, Greek-style hubris — the idea of unfounded self-confidence", he said. It reminded me of a study that talked about men's confidence VS women's self-doubt contributing to the gender gap in leadership roles and businesses. I told myself that until I could call myself an entrepreneur. And instantly thought, that couldn't be it.
However, since then I have consciously surrounded myself with empowered, successful, and hardworking women. Changing the gendered roles in my life - by working under or with women in leadership roles instead of men - changed my life.
It doesn’t matter how proactive and feminist you are, if the network you are a part of is mostly men, you’re just not going to see as many women’s projects, you’re not going to hear in your network about as many successful women. And I am a staunch believer of the logic: "If you can't see it, you can't be it." As a young working female who wanted to be an entrepreneur, I simply didn't feel empowered by being exposed to stories of only men. Over-representation or under-representation in a certain role, sector, and industry can push men and women into stereotypes. It's no surprise that women are constantly called the 'caregivers' and over 70% of the healthcare sector is represented by women. The global participation rate of women in national-level parliaments was 24.1% in 2018, so it's a huge surprise to the whole world when Jacinda Ardern proved herself to be an exceptional leader as compared to all the male leaders.
That is how and why Spokesperson came to life. Spokesperson is a global narrative and service provider. It's an exposé to bring forth all female-identifying and LGBTQIA leaders in the world to one platform. We are here to change any narrative that is discriminatory.