“As women we expect to be treated equal in terms of care, nourishment, education, professional opportunities, compensation and inheritance. Give us the same starting line and see how far we can go.” - Sonia Virk, Lawyer at Virk Viyas & Associate Lawyers
Sonia Virk is a lawyer and founder of Virk Viyas & Associate Lawyers. She is very active in the community and donates her time to various community related events. She currently sits on the board of directors for the Surrey Hospitals Foundation.
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What does being a woman mean to you?
Being a woman to me means being my authentic self. It means being strong, vulnerable, ambitious, kind, generous, loving and assertive. We don’t have to prove our worth by professional success. My biggest role models are the women who raised me. They were very strong, hardworking, generous, loving and nurturing. They didn’t work outside of their homes, but they were leaders, they were equal contributors in every sense of the word.
In spite of all the progress we have made, gender bias is still a harsh reality many women face at home, in their work place and in the society. Men and women both need to work together to address this issue. As women we expect to be treated equal in terms of care, nourishment, education, professional opportunities, compensation and inheritance. Give us the same starting line and see how far we can go.
A milestone that defines your journey?
I grew up in India and moved to Canada in my early 20s. I have now been in Canada for 21 years and have been practicing law for 17 years. It has been an amazing professional journey to build my law practice, in a new country where I did not know many people. I started alone and along the way created a huge network of men and women, who were my clients, colleagues, business contacts and peers, and now have become friends. I have always made my best efforts to be a contributing member of the society and volunteered for various community-related events.
What inspires you to do better each day?
As a child, I would ask my father, what the president and prime minister of India does and if I could be the President or Prime Minster and he would always say yes. And that set in a belief that I could do anything and be whoever I wanted to be, without any limitations. That has been my success mantra. That belief and hard work are the foundation of anything I have achieved. It does pay to be stubborn about achieving your goals. The desire to improve myself as a person inspires me to do better each day. Learning from my experiences and becoming a better person, professionally and personally, is my goal. My clients, my team, my family and friends, all inspire, teach and guide me.
What’s your advice for women who wish to follow your path?
Having the right attitude is most important. The right education will open so many more doors for you. Don’t shy away from challenges. Most women I know have faced some sort of adversity or resistance, but still preserved and came out strong. Adversity builds character. It is our innate nature to give love, make scarifies and take care of others, but make sure you also love and take care of yourself. You should always choose you. Dream big, work hard, do what brings you joy. It is a blessing to be born a woman and to be able to love, give, feel, care, work and succeed, the way only a woman can. I love being a woman.
Photo: A Master Media