Delighted to hear AJ editor's feedback on her AJ survey on lack of Women in Architecture. We at RIBA fully support this campaign. What a pity I did not join you as the second woman President of RIBA, I could have filled in the gaps! We have led campaigns for diversity in architecture for 12 years and made steady progress with mentoring, role models, careers in schools and support to wia colleagues. We have a European group of wia and we all face similar problems. We now have further obstacles with the high cost of education for long courses, followed by low pay when you graduate which will kill of the diversity we so desperately need. see www.women-in-architecture.com and info on my Twitter.com/AngelaBradyRIBA We still have much to do to retain women in our profession. I believe we must promote the value of what we bring to our profession and to society. We need our male partners and colleagues to support and value us so that together we can create better architecture and built environment and all enjoy a better quality of life. Angela Brady RIBA President 2011-13
Comment on: The Diary of an Anonymous Architect #7
A reply from the President. The RIBA Agreements (standard appointment forms –no longer called “SFA”s) provide a balanced contractual position of the interests of the architect/consultant and the client. This means that clients (or their legal advisors) would prefer them to be more in favour of the client interests whilst some members would like them to be more protectionist of the architect’s interests. The view of the RIBA Practice committee, Board and Council has always been that neither extreme is helpful or where the RIBA should position itself. But we need to get that difficult message across to all parties, which we try to do in several ways. The RIBA extols the virtues of standard and tried and tested balanced contracts to clients, convincing them it is not really in their interests either to stitch up and pile all the risks up on their consultant, because it forces the consultant to be ultra protectionist and sometimes combatative, it may not be insurable (PII cover voided) and if their consultant topples under the load of obligations, the client won’t be best served. However there are many lawyers who make good money out of creating bespoke appointment contracts and in their interests to rubbish any form of standard contract and claim that naything from the RIBA must be all in the architects’ favour. Similarly we extol the virtues of standard RIBA contracts to Architects/consultants as they are balanced, PI insurable, tried and tested and often much better and fairer than the client/lawyer bespoke ones. Also, if forced by the client to use their bespoke forms, to use the RIBA standard terms and conditions as the base-line negotiating point, so that due recompense (more fees!) can be got for any additional risks/obligations that the architect has to take on beyond the “RIBA norm". One members feedback: 'I use the new 2010/11 domestic agreements every day - they are as simple as we could make them, created by a member team including small and large practitioners, as robust as the lawyers and insurers advising us wanted them to be, and I have NEVER, even once had a client objection despite sending out dozens. It’s how you sell it, and if your attitude is negative, nothing will work for you". You say you know how you would deal with Fee agreements if you were president, yet you are not willing to come and talk to us at 66? You are invited now to participate. We are a membership organisation so, if you have good ideas then come and do something with them to make our profession better - like the hundreds of other members that do - and don't moan that the RIBA are doing nothing. We are all the RIBA. ...Johnny Nash.... "I can see clearly now the rain has gone..."