I didn't suggest women architects were a 'nice to have'!! IMO, the problems women architects face are the same as most working women. Example - childcare costs (It costs me £125 a DAY for nursery care for two preschoolers which requires an income of about £40K a year to break even as it's taken out net earnings!) and if you you are a young architect that has just racked up a £90K debt from seven years of studying it may simply not be feasible to continue an architectural career.
Architecture is regarded as an art so it gets sidelined as a 'nice to have'.
Comment on: RIBA Awards winners 2014: Houses
These houses are a delight. It's interesting to read Carl Turner's views on the importance of modesty and scale, especially after reading Tim Clark's current AJ article on 'shoe box' houses and the detrimental effects they have on their wellbeing of their occupants. If only there was a way to capture the imaginations of Berkeley, Bovis, Wimpey et al in order to bring some of the thoughtful qualities of these bespoke houses into mass housing estates.
If Protection of Function is implemented, does that mean that designers ( a la Heatherwick) technicians and Project Managers are out of a job? This would leave us open to the accusation of running some sort of architects' cartel with the heavy handed regulation that would surely follow.
In theory, the foundation for mentoring and structured practical training already exists as part of Part III. However, the RIBA practical training guidelines merely call for an experienced architect to be assigned to 'supervise' PIII trainees without much further direction. The log book is a tick-box exercise unless the practice schedules regular time to explain overarching principles of running a project and also go into detail about why things have gone right/ wrong. The RIBA should have better guidance and incentives to help practices bring on trainee architects during this key stage so that they feel confident on site and in the office. IMO, the difference will be more noticeable in women who start off less confident in these areas as ... (a) They start off acutely aware of the oddity of being a woman walking onto a building site and (b) may feel a little left out of the boys' superclub so will be more keen to absorb advice from their supervisor / mentor that bridges the gap between textbooks and practical experience and that will help them level up.