Profile of a Masalamomma: Weather Specialist, Sangita Patel

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Sangita Patel

The Mother of two daughters and TV Weather Specialist, Sangita Patel was on the path of working full time in engineering when she got the media bug which would eventually lead her to a career in weather broadcasting. She calls weather the perfect mix of science and media. In this month’s Profile of a Masalamomma,  Patel talks to masalamommas about being a parent juggling family and work in the world of broadcasting as well as growing as a young South Asian woman in Canada.

As a working mom, how do you juggle family and cultural obligations?

You never stop! I always say you have ‘different’ types of energy when you are a mom. ‘Work energy’ is the focus I place on the task at hand. My job involves making others happy, and I love it! If I am tired when heading home, it disappears when the little one comes running into my arms – that’s when my ‘mommy energy’ kicks in. Then there is ‘wifey energy,’ which kicks in by the evening and involves cooking – one of my favorite hobbies!

As a South Asian woman growing up, what role did South Asian culture play in your family/home life?

When I was young, I used to play the harmonium, and did Gujarati folk dance.  I ended up becoming a dance teacher later in life.  My parents did a great job exposing us to the South Asian community while we lived in Toronto.

Was your own mother a source of inspiration when it came to choosing to be a working mom?  How you manage your drive in your career?

My mom worked so hard. From having a full time job to taking care of four kids, she was the ultimate mom. My goal in life is to succeed and to give opportunities to my children, as well as take care of my parents. If you love what you do – you are always driven.

What do you think are the biggest challenges South Asian women/mothers face today that perhaps weren’t there when our own mothers were raising children? What challenges have you faced and overcome?

As a South Asian mother – I can’t really think of challenges I had to conquer. We live in Canada and diversity is celebrated. Really, the biggest challenge is just raising kids!

You have a successful career in television: do you think a woman with children have longevity in broadcasting?

Having a baby in the media wasn’t popular 10 years ago, but now it’s embraced, even fashionable! There are other factors that are more challenging for longevity in broadcasting. Being a mother actually helps you become a better reporter because you learn the importance of selflessness. Every decision you make will effect another.

Given that the South Asian culture historically has had some biases when it comes to raising girls vs. boys, how far do you think we’ve come in reducing some of these as women raising children in this generation? Did you experience any of these biases, preferential treatment growing up?

That’s a very interesting question. I have two girls. We love girls in our family – girls tend to take care of their parents.  My parents adore us (my two sisters and brother who is the eldest). My husband only had one brother and having girls has been the best gift. But truly for my husband and me, the sex of the baby didn’t matter as long as he/she was healthy.

In India having a boy is still very popular. There is a lack of females in India, and they are desperate for wives. Nature will take its course and will try to balance the gender ratio.

When it comes to your passion, what made you gravitate toward weather?

It’s a crazy story. I graduated as an electrical engineer  but my passion was media. I worked as an engineer until I got my professional engineering designation, but I left my job to live my passion. Weather was the perfect mix of science and media (yes, I am a nerd!)

If you could go back in time what would have been your second choice in career?

I guess it would be engineering!

Some fun facts about Sangita:

1) What’s your favourite way to relieve stress?

Talk to my hubby – he is my rock – or wear my pajamas, have dessert and watch a
movie!

2) One thing every mom should have in her purse?

Baby wipes…I can’t live without them!

3) One thing people don’t know about you?

I use to be a fitness instructor!

4) Favourite show to watch when the kids aren’t around?

Modern Family on Citytv…funny!

 

More About Sangita:
Born and raised in Toronto, Sangita has always had a keen interest in the media. Yet, her studies in math and science propelled her towards an Engineering degree, where she graduated as one of only fifteen females in her program. Her passion for media resurfaced and led her to a job as a reporter/host for a national South Asian channel before becoming an on-air reporter for Rogers TV Toronto Living. Sangita’s love of science and media collided when she became a weather specialist at The Weather Network where she quickly fell in love with the world of weather broadcasting!

Sangita is currently the Weather Specialist for CityNews in Toronto. She is also the reporter for CityNews segment “In the City” and a weather specialist for 680 News. You can also catch her filling in at the Live Eye on Breakfast Television from time to time.

 


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