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Women’s Day Special - “A sneak peek into the Journey of an Indian Female Architect”

Women’s Day Special - “A sneak peek into the Journey of an Indian Female Architect”


Date:8 March 2023

A woman can achieve anything if she puts her heart and soul into it. It’s high time to accept them as successful mentors and appreciate their efforts.

I truly believe that a woman must get the recognition wherever she deserves, as believe me it was never easy for her to reach this platform!

During a recent casual conversation with one of my “male” colleagues, he expressed a deep appreciation for the unwavering dedication and hard work I have been putting in as a “female” architect, despite facing numerous daily challenges. In addition to this, he shared with me that he can only recall one or two women from his five-year course in architecture who are still actively pursuing their careers in this field. This revelation left me feeling both surprised and deeply reflective, and I began to contemplate the reasons behind this gender disparity.

Is it a lack of interest among women in pursuing architecture after completing their college degrees, or is it the persistent societal notion that women are not taken seriously in this traditionally male-dominated field? Could it be the persisting gender pay gap in the industry, or are there other factors at play? These questions have left me pondering the steps that can be taken to create a more equitable and inclusive environment for women in architecture.

However, despite the various challenges, a few women are able to overcome these obstacles and emerge as successful architects. However, it is important to acknowledge the systemic barriers that women face in the field of architecture and strive to create a more supportive work environment that accommodates the needs of both men and women. By promoting inclusivity and offering greater flexibility, we can encourage more women to pursue their passions in architecture and create a more diverse and thriving industry.

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Despite encountering obstacles in my journey so far, I consider myself lucky and have always been clear in voicing my own decisions and not letting others decide for me. After having a child, I noticed a difference in how I was perceived, with questions about whether I would continue my career. But with the support of my family and colleagues, I found a balance that allowed me to keep working. Their support was crucial in overcoming the challenges of parenthood and maintaining my professional career.

It is important to note that, while internal support has been key in my journey, external support from my suppliers, contractors has also helped me achieve my set goals. Being a healthcare architect, I particularly must deal with a complex process which demands intricate planning at every stage. The never-ending challenge which any healthcare facility poses is ‘flexibility’ in the planning of spaces for the simple reason that patient care is a continuous growth in terms of technological advancement which any healthcare facility should be capable of absorbing with time and minimum augmentation of spaces available. This particularly calls for evaluation of materials and choices which can aid my work at site in a faster and hassle-free way. For instance, my preferred choice in the last few years has been drywall partitions. This is also at the back of the various advantages associated with such kind of a system. Recently in one of our projects – CAPFIMS (1100 bedded super speciality hospital – Delhi), Saint-Gobain Gyproc particularly came up with wonderful impact-resistant drywall partition solutions which are durable, soundproof, fire resistant, and more importantly aesthetic-wise pleasing, compact and lightweight installations which fit just appropriately. Thus, with the advancement of the sector and the foray into alternate building materials, the time commitment in the sector is also seeing a gradual shift, making it all the easier for women to consider viable options without having to make sacrifices.

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It takes you your wits to keep your focus straight and continue in your professional life, otherwise, there are many ‘exits’ in the life of a female architect which she can either take willingly or be forced to choose one at one point or another. Maintaining a balanced life is an everyday challenge for her not because she cannot handle it efficiently but rather, because she is passionate about her career and wants to accomplish it with full heart and soul even if she must walk the extra mile to finish her daily duties without complaints as well!

So, my advice to all the women starting in this field will be – Be Confident, Be Focused, Take Ownership – even of your mistakes, state your views clearly and your peers will listen to you – when YOU make yourself heard. Believe me, you will be recognized when your knowledge will mark your presence even in the boardrooms full of men.