Five amazing women, five inspiring stories. For our New Year issue, we decided to get together the strongest (and coolest) women we know, to share their struggles. For these women, 2015 was about facing their fears. Just take Rega Jha for example. After having studied and worked with BuzzFeed in the United States, she moved to India, Mumbai to be precise, to head BuzzFeed's headquarters in the country. All at the age of 24. Yeah! So we sat down with the trailblazer and picked her brains about holding her own in an industry of silver foxes.
"2015 Was the Year I Became a #GirlBoss"
Editor, BuzzFeed India
"Holy sh*t! I'm so lucky and I'm so f*cked!" That's what went through 25-year-old Rega Jha's mind when she was asked to spearhead and be BuzzFeed India's editor. But being the editor of India's biggest international website was something that Rega couldn't quite believe. "I felt, and still feel, on many mornings like I'm not qualified enough to do this job," says Rega, who's had to deal with a fair share of skepticism because of her age. "I'm in the perfect age and gender Venn overlap—early 20s and female. Men have interrupted me in meetings and called me 'sweetheart' and 'baby', before speaking over me entirely, despite my expertise," she says. And fighting off dismissive comments is not even the biggest challenge that Rega faces on a day-to-day basis. Developing content strategies, adapting to the Indian mindset, Rega's had her work cut out for her ever since she moved to Mumbai. "The Indian Internet is wildly different from any other. It's polarised, opinionated, hilarious, and permeable—so we've been careful to adapt ourselves to it," says Rega. A little over a year into the journey, Rega has already been trolled on Twitter, sat on a panel with Shekhar Gupta and Ravish Kumar, and continues to headline one of the biggest online platforms in the world. And she's only just getting started...
Photograph: Sahil Behal; Styling: Zunaili Malik