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50-50 campaign for equality launches

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Women in Architecture sets a 50 per cent target to address the profession’s gender imbalance, which Angela Brady argues will only be achieved with a grass-roots change, reports Mary Murray Brown

An ambitious campaign to achieve a 50-50 balance between men and women in the profession by the year 2020 was launched earlier this week by RIBA president-elect Angela Brady and attendees at the Women in Architecture conference (AJ 14.10.10).

The ‘Let’s make it 50-50 by 2020’ campaign received unanimous backing from scores of architects and engineers who travelled to London Metropolitan University’s Women’s Library to attend Monday’s conference.

Brady, who organised the series of lectures and workshops, explained: ‘We need more role models, public faces, and women to initiate change from grass roots level up, and we need to run more returners’ courses.’

Ali Grehan, Dublin City Architect, said: ‘We have to find a way of communicating our strengths by making collaborative work, in which women excel, more recognised. That would make an interesting prize to set up.’

 

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‘Equality should surely be sought by a process of dialogue. We should go there mentally first of all, then step forward. Once we are commissioned we can claim territory.’Yvonne Farrell, founder and director of Grafton Architects

‘We have an obligation to interrogate why women earn less than men, and don’t seem to make it to the top positions, when their ability and qualifications should put them on an equal footing.’Fiona Scott, founding partner of Gort Scott Architects

‘Two of our four partners are women. The mixed environment is the right way. This makes me relaxed and confident so I work well.’Meryl Townley, partner at van Heyningen and Haward Architects

‘The message needs to be spread that you don’t need to be someone else, someone white and male, to be an architect. Increasing diversity among teaching staff will help this.’Marianne Christiansen, lecturer at the University of East London School of Architecture

‘It’s really hard to have kids and be an architect. But women need to be encouraged that if you’re good, you can do it.’Dinah Bornat, director of Bornat Architects

 

 

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