Focus on IWD: Jyoti Shukla

In celebration of International Women’s Day on March 8, the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning is shining a light on the integral work and careers of a selection of our staff. Jyoti is a lecturer in property. Her research focuses on housing and land economics.

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What is one thing that you are most proud of as a woman in the built environment, academic or University sector?

I am most proud of the empowerment induced through the instruments of research and teaching, to make an impact on multiple dimensions of human life, including the physical, natural, and social environment.  In the MSD, I am inspired by the equity in diversity in terms of geography, discipline, and gender, which makes it a live laboratory for learning for staff and students alike.

Who have been influential in guiding, supporting, or mentoring you?

While self- motivation is essential for any success, the encouragement and guidance received form my supervisor has been fuelling this motivation. A lot of forces in the form of friends, family, and mentors, come together to help one reach difficult milestones.   

What is one piece of advice that you can share with women in academia and the built environment on how we can shape more inclusive workplaces?

Celebrating women on a particular day is a good reminder of exclusion on other days! The first step to creating an inclusive workplace would be to design sensitive and responsive affirmative actions which don’t do the opposite. The scope work is evident from the fact that some of the most popular sports, like footy in Australia, are assumed to be for men by default by the name of it e.g. AFL for men and AFL-W for women and an implicit dismissal of all other genders. Regarding ongoing affirmative actions concerning important areas of wage, division of labour, job appointment, and other crucial aspects of work life, there is limited transparency and almost no accountability towards inclusive practices. Academic institutions have always been futuristic and revolutionary and are thus potential carriers and demonstrators of change.

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