Sonali Rastogi, Founding Partner, Morphogenesis Shares Her #Power-Story with Team BMR
In today's world, it is crucial to rethink the role of women in corporate initiatives. Women have consistently contributed to redefining the surroundings and rebuilding structures, controlling the household, and maintaining work-life balance. The fundamental problem, however, is that they are not truly included in corporate initiatives. Women are often thought of as someone who can supervise the house and not struggle but as times have altered many women have expressed the possibility of the success a woman can accomplish by maintaining both personal and professional life. However, a change occurred during the pandemic days when people paused for a while and understood their quality of life. The effective life of the individual comprises the intellect, and body balance which shapes and affects the environment. We as a civilization need to rethink the competitive work-life balance by discovering the past.
From the early days of my life, I was intrigued by the role of people who dare to change the systems and bring real change to the world. Growing up, I dreamed of becoming a writer or journalist whose voice could be heard and make a difference. I was passionate about writing but also loved public speaking. I grew up watching shows about journalism on DD, which impacted my thinking. The role of Prime Minister has always been on my list of dreams, not because I want political power, but because I'm convinced it's an authority where I can make a difference in people's lives. I prefer challenging work that comforts my soul. I spend most of my working day doing things that I feel I can make a difference. That was been the idea for nearly three decades of practicing Architecture.
I have firmly coined my firm on this philosophy as SOLE-Sustainability, Optimizing, Unique, Livable. I strongly follow this core idea and work throughout the day. I have observed that a lot of people work for financial security for their accountabilities. But I work passionately, engaging my body and soul together in producing provoking work. It's certainly difficult for women to uphold family life and work simultaneously. But if any woman is enthusiastic about working in a full-time career it can be credible and a lot of opportunities are available. The status of work and position usually depends on the work cycle of the company and the skills of the individual. As a woman, we should be hopeful when it comes to our financial growth. A lot of times I have identified that we lack a support system at home where we don't feel secure leaving kids alone or don't have a rightful relationship with our respective partners. We should take a break whenever required to reevaluate what we want to do in life. Being ambitious and courageous are two pillars for growth in the working sector while simultaneously maintaining family responsibilities.
Defining the issues faced by women in society and addressing them collectively would formulate an awareness and better way of living. In my experience, I was blessed with the assistance of my parents, friends, and in-laws who comforted me by sharing the responsibility and pursuing my dreams. I recall the days when I used to carry my children to the meetings where they used to play with lego as I discussed the project with the client. I am not ashamed of bringing personal life into professional work. But on the contrary, I truly believe that there should be a blurring of the boundary between the two which could be my success mantra. I don't think of these all as responsibilities, rather they are the joys of my life where everything is related, my children, pets, parents, and in-laws. I managed to balance both as one and live peacefully. I encourage all women to pursue their dreams and live fearlessly. I know this profession is very time-consuming and monotonous most of the time but it also gives joy and contentment to the soul.
In my view, everyone who joined this profession had a dream of becoming an Architect, Interior designer, etc., and struggled to become one, but Architecture is not a job where one works 9-5. Architecture is a concept of life. Life is full of opportunities and challenges, but architecture is a bridge to cross to create experiential life. Learn to enjoy what you do daily as much as you do when traveling. Due to the increase in technological advancement, cities are developing at high speed and a lot of projects are planned. As designers, we should grab such opportunities and create a network for working in different cities and with various people. Collaboration and learning from others are key factors of growth in the industry. I have seen a lot of construction happening in Delhi, Mumbai, and Surat which could be great for the formation of networks. We should also not dismiss the fact that the men suffer equally through poverty, huge responsibilities, a farming crisis, or any other. So as a society we prefer empowerment where men and women can stand equally and work together. We need a place and a representative to empower the individual and treat everyone with respect and compassion. I wonder how architects could make one's life more convenient and comfortable through architecture? I think we should learn from each other and develop the country to make it a better place.”
Text Courtesy: Sonali Rastogi, Founding Partner, Morphogenesis