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Ashima Sharma: Breaking Down Social Barriers to Mentorship Accessibility

Ashima Sharma: Breaking Down Social Barriers to Mentorship Accessibility

Hi! It’s me, Spiffy, the interplanetary journalist reporting from Planet Earth with the latest scoop on entrepreneurs making a difference in healthcare for all of us around the world! Today’s rockstar is Ashima Sharma, the CEO and co-founder of Dreami.

Spiffy: Welcome, Ashima. Let’s jump right in. Can you tell me what challenge Dreami is addressing?

Ashima: Glad to be here, Spiffy! Mentorship is a powerful tool: mentors can support, guide, and encourage you in your education and dreams. However, mentorship is not something everyone has access to today. It can be hard to know who to go to, how to find a mentor, and how to ask them to help you. So that is why we started Dreami. We want to make sure everyone has the power of a mentor to support them in their dreams and goals. Dreami believes that together, we are limitless.

Spiffy: What motivated you to do it?

Ashima: I used to be an engineer and I struggled to find mentors. There weren't a lot of people I could go to in order to find support and help. Especially as a female BIPOC engineer, there were not a lot of people who looked like me and could understand some of the difficulties I was facing. So I decided to start Dreami to solve my problem, and millions of others problems as well. I feel very motivated by helping others, and I get a lot of fulfillment when I see others reach their big goals because of their mentors.

Spiffy: Can you elaborate on the work you do at Dreami and how you’re working towards a more equitable world?

Ashima: Dreami is rooted in seeing through an equitable future. We focus on supporting under-represented (and under-estimated) individuals, as we tend to be left out from opportunities like mentorship. Our entire mission is about breaking down the social barriers to accessing mentorship and helping individuals to build social capital.

Spiffy: Tell me about a recent company milestone or initiative. What impact does it make?

Ashima: We recently hit 1,500 mentors and mentees through our partners! This is huge because it shows to the world that Dreami is needed and we are just at the beginning.

Spiffy: As I say to every entrepreneur I interview, I’m equally interested in your stories of failure and how you overcame them, the lessons you gained. What can you tell me?

Ashima: I experience failure all of the time, Spiffy. I like to climb tall mountains, and a lot of mountain climbing is like starting a big dream. You have a huge peak you want to summit, but sometimes you may have bad weather, fatigue, and unpredictable conditions that prevent you from summiting at that point. But failure is just a redirection and a lesson learned: you go back and get better and you try again. I have always learned to never stop trying as long as I am learning.

Spiffy: Is there anything else you would love to tell our audience before we sign off today?

Ashima: Please set big big dreams and goals for yourself. There will be people out there who want to help you out. Don't let today stop you from creating a better tomorrow for all of us.

Spiffy: Thanks for speaking with me today, Ashima—it’s been an honor!

Ashima Sharma is the founder and CEO of Dreami, a mentorship platform dedicated to making mentorship scalable and accessible. Ashima started her career in chemical engineering where she was exposed to the lack of career support. Dreami has been recognized by Techstars, Nasdaq Milestone Makers, and several other social impact organizations. In her free time, Ashima can be found deep in the Sierra Nevada hiking or backpacking. (Nominated by Josef Scarantino at Hubspot Ventures. First published on the Ladderworks website on May 17, 2022.)

© 2022 Ladderworks LLC. Edited by Anushree Nande. Spiffy’s illustration by Shreyas Navare. For the Ladderworks digital curriculum to help K-3 kids advance the UN SDGs, visit Spiffy's Corner here.