As a young woman in the professional world, I can attest to how tough it can be.
I started my first corporate marketing job at 19 which, being an exciting learning experience, was also scary! It was intimidating working with colleagues who were decades older, well-experienced and knew what they were doing.
However, over the years, I’ve successfully navigated the professional world whether that is negotiating, asking for salary increases or simply just being confident in my actions. What helped empower me the most throughout this journey was mentorship.
Working with other ambitious women helped build my confidence around work, money and helped me become much more self-aware.
But, finding a suitable mentor to help you level up can be hard! I recall, I once joined a mentorship program where my mentor ghosted me again and again – I never ended up meeting with her the entire program!
Luckily, finding a fantastic mentor is much easier now thanks to Elladex.
Elladex is the go-to place for professional, ambitious women to connect with mentors and access daily learning to achieve their goals.I was fortunate enough to interview Shivani Gopal, CEO & Founder of Elladex.
She shared the journey of both her and Elladex and some fantastic advice for young women. I learned a lot from her and I hope you will too!
Ruba: What inspired you to help focus the gender pay gap? Was there a specific experience that triggered this for you?
Shivani: When I was working as a financial planner, I started noticing the sheer magnitude of the gender pay gap and how it can affect women’s lives and careers. I was seeing my female clients earn up to $100,000 less than their male counterparts, and when bonuses or contract negotiations were made, I saw how women were the ones often left with the short end of the stick.
This led me to step in and start coaching my female clients on how they can ask for what they deserve in the workplace. I then realised that women all over Australia – and the world – could benefit from greater access to development resources and mentorship, so I set my sights on helping at a grassroots level with The Remarkable Woman – now Elladex.
Ruba: What key pieces of advice would you give young women who are “fighting for a seat at the table” (like me!)?
Shivani: My biggest piece of advice, and something that I’ve personally seen work wonders, is finding someone who is already in the room to mentor you – someone who believes in you, will invest in you and will use their position at the table to help get you a seat too. We all want to be ‘sponsored’ into roles, and opening new networks. What we need to realize is that sponsorship first starts with mentorship – so always look for a good mentor first, and experience the benefit of having more doors open to you.
Another important step is to invest in yourself. Do the work to understand who you are as well as what your strengths and weaknesses are both personally and professionally. Getting to know yourself is so powerful because it allows you to identify where you stand out and gives you the ability to leverage your strengths. It’s up to us to know these things about ourselves, it’s only through that clarity that we can leverage our own superpowers.
Ruba: That’s great! I love the focus on investing in yourself – I’m trying to do a bit more of that these days. Last question! Where do you hope to see ELLADEX in the next 5 years? What is your vision?
Shivani: In five years, I see ELLADEX as a global network that helps women across all backgrounds and walks of life reach their full potential. We want to see our super-app driving the growth of women’s everyday lives, allowing them to wake up in the morning, meditate, learn, and accelerate their success. I’m envisioning a community of a billion women – because why not! There’s no shortage of ambitious women in the world, so the sky’s the limit.
Ruba: I love that! Thank you so much for your time. I learned a lot from speaking with you and I am sure my readers will feel like same. Looking forward to watching the Elladex journey!
Shivani Gopal is the CEO of Elladex and an expert in money and inclusion.
About Shivani Gopal: Shivani Gopal has over 15 years of experience in the financial, professional and gender equality space. After being denied personal mentoring in her twenties, she set about making personal development, professional growth and financial literacy accessible to all women.
Shivani has spent the last six years perfecting successful mentoring programs for women in business via The Remarkable Woman, and in October 2022 pivoted her database of 25,000 women seeking support to a new digital mentor marketplace, ELLADEX and the ELLADEX super-app, which combines the latest in data-matching and machine learning technology to create tailored bite-sized learning experiences for women at all professional levels.