On the occasion of the International women’s week 2020, ARCH College of Design and Business hosted a Charcha commemorating the Strong Women in the Design fraternity.
According to the latest Design Census conducted by AIGA and Google, 53.5% of designers are women. While there are many truly remarkable women designers out there paving the way, in reality, the industry has not been immune to sexism, gender roles and male hegemony. Just 11% of leadership positions in the field of design are held by women. Why?
In a heart-to-heart discussion on “Women In Design” our esteemed panel shared their experiences on fighting all odds to succeed in the field.
Archana Surana, Director ARCH needs no introduction. The sculptural dynamism of her radical mindset and design work is an expression of her feisty personality, which emboldened her to challenge the design status quo and relentlessly push the boundaries of both form and function in a predominantly patriarchal society. Speaking on gender disparity she stated how if one delves with the wide and deep angles of the roles and responsibilities, a necessity of fine-tuning would certainly pop up.
For instance, no daughter is born with the required manners to behave well with her parents; no woman becomes a wife with full knowledge and understanding of how to live with her husband, kids and in-laws. So, regardless of her roles, she needs to raise from the boundaries of this contemporary patriarchal society. They are bound to have each and every facility which a man has, they should avail every inch of liberty as a man does. They need to be educated and raised in society as to have a better, stronger and more intellectual social existence.
Sonal Chitranshi, the founder of SOUL ROOTS, famous for reflecting her love for Indian crafts, fabrics, and vibrant colours in her elegant designs, emphasized the role of education in empowering women financially. She defines Women Empowerment as “The ability for women to enjoy their right to control and benefit from the resources, assets, income and their own time, to manage risk and improve their economic status and well-being.”
Famous furniture designer Yojna Jaisingh, who revolutionized the design of workplaces while redefining the concept of modernity, and beyond stated that a woman’s empowerment starts at her personal Level.
Sonal Srisrimal, India’s first female Star Architect put light on how the perceived status of women in design impacted her career. She highlighted that if one has a headstrong determination and remarkable creative talents, she can not be stifled and, it ultimately leads to spectacular success.
Archana Surana concluded the session emphasizing that “women are leaders everywhere we look- from the CEO of top companies to the homemaker who heads the household. No society can achieve sustainable progress with a minimal or negligible role of women, in fact, it is the only thing that determines whether a society is strong and harmonious, or otherwise. Women are the backbone of society and to reach equality women need to help women attain it!
Here’s to strong women: may we know them, may we be them, may we raise them!