Getting to Know: Ishita Aggarwal

Editor-in-Chief/Founder of BEHIND-THE-SCENES Magazine

For many women, especially young women, gender discrimination is not a foreign concept — nor is it one many women see being resolved in the future, however, for Ishita Aggarwal, she seeks to shed light on Canadian gender equalities by providing a platform and an unheard voice. “After my first-ever interview for a part-time position at a local hardware store, I was informed that the role would be fulfilled by a “better-suited” applicant because the Co-Manager was ‘more comfortable dealing with men.’ The incident triggered my interest in Gender Equality,” she states. It’s this experience that lead to Ishita launching the E-zine, BEHIND-THE-SCENES, a platform with a mandate that will “accept and anonymously publish prose, poetry, art and photography (i.e. mixed media) that shares an individual’s (both male and female’s) lived experience with gender discrimination.”

Ishita continues by saying, “It is my hope that the anonymous nature of the bi-annual or annual publication will allow contributors to be blunt, honest, and open in their disclosures and encourage thoughtful conversation on controversial and traditionally taboo topics.”

With a strong vision ahead of her, Ishita admits that despite loving what she does, people forget that the responsibilities you accumulate by starting your own company can drain you. “I have learned that even if you love what you do (which I do!), it is common to feel burnt out from time to time. Furthermore, I have learned that it is important to address burn-out and recharge so you can stay motivated towards your ultimate goals. Strategies that I use to overcome burn-out include taking frequent breaks, limiting screen time, and engaging in physical activity,” she advises.

Ishita’s goal is to create a team of talented editors, writers, social entrepreneurs and social justice advocates for BEHIND-THE-SCENES Magazine, which will lead to a self-funded publication in the future. “Through my professional and personal experiences working in this space, I have since learned that gender inequalities (in the form of both macro- and micro-aggressions) still exist today. I am confident that BEHIND-THE-SCENES Magazine will be a powerful tool for raising awareness of gender inequities and may contribute to women’s policy change.”

As Ishita continues to work on launching BEHIND-THE-SCENES Magazine, you can connect with her on Facebook and support this great concept by simply spreading the word.

Story written by Erin Ashley

Ishita is a participant in the Hook It Up program delivered by Socent7. Hook It Up is a support program for young social entrepreneurs in Ontario. Learn more at www.hookitup.ca.

**END OF PROGRAM UPDATE** After having set up a review Board and other organization infrastructure, Ishita has recieved +150 submissions for her first online issue, with a planned release for Fall 2016. Her message to others: “there are plenty of people and organizations that support emerging entrepreneurs. My best piece of advice to another social entrepreneur is to stop waiting for a perfect time to start their project and to just dive into it. You’ll figure things out as you go along and there will be resources to help if you look for them.”