‘Women Led Organisations’ is a new series to highlight A&D firms in India that are either founded, led by or supported by women. The first event was held on Thursday 18 March and focussed on Space Matrix.
Space Matrix is a global design & build firm that creates award-winning corporate workplaces that inspires people and impacts business. With 15 locations around the world, this global A&D firm was founded and is led by Shagufta Anurag and has a large team of women who head and lead various divisions within the business.
The hour and a half session – moderated by Payal Sandhu Khuarana, Ambassador of WOD India – was engaging and fun. As well as listening to the speakers’ stories about career development, the event also included a diverse range of topics. It was particularly interesting to listen to input about neurodiversity – outlining an anthropological and psychological principles based approach to workplace design.
Discussions included a great analogy of a ‘set’ dinner party menu. The host will inevitably, albeit unconsciously, displease or alienate some guests – vegans, meat eaters, pescatarians, non dairy …. The scenario highlights that inclusivity has to be about understanding and appreciation of the needs, wants and likes of all people within a workspace.
Space Matrix Director, Anoma Baste, offered a wonderful moment which captured the hearts and imagination of all. As well as being a talented architect, Anoma is also a poet. She read a poem, Grain of Gold, taken from her published collection;
Refracted light through the glass doors that sway,
I held a rainbow in my palm today.
Turned around to hear you say,
“I wish instead I had the pot of gold, that which lies on the other side.”
To that I said, “What if this already is the other side,
And Today, your grain of gold?”
With that you smiled and let your crossed arms unfold.
Concluding the event, WOD founder, Harsha Kotak, caught the global CEO, Arsh Chaudhry, ‘off guard’. He was not expecting to speak but responded so positively when asked about the Company’s approach to diversity. “You cannot have one point of view,” he explained. “Diversity in thinking is so important within all areas of the company.”
You can watch the recording of this event below: