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ARB to monitor ethnicity

The ARB is currently considering a revision to its equality policy which will see it monitor the ethnicity of people joining the register, but not the estimated 33,000 professionals already on it

Paul Anderson-Walsh, managing director of the Stephen Lawrence Centre, welcomed the ARB’s commitment to ethnicity monitoring and said it would allow the organisation to be more ‘self-critical’.

But some architects are calling for more comprehensive ethnicity data from the ARB. Sarah Akigbogun, who works at Foster + Partners said, it was ‘critical’ that a full survey be undertaken to ‘get a full picture of the profession as it stands now’.

She suggested a survey of all ARB members would show ‘how numbers have changed over the last five or 10 years and whether ethnic minorities have been affected disproportionately by the recession.’

Part 2 graduate Dami Lapite added: ‘It appears the ARB are using this as a cover up and trying to tick boxes on equality.’

By disregarding the 33,000 architects currently registered with the industry body, he said, the ARB was ‘resigned to the fact that there is an imbalance in equality within the profession.’

An ARB spokesperson said: ‘Because we’re now subject to the public sector equality duty and not the specific duties under the Equality Act, we don’t believe
it would be proportionate to conduct an equality monitoring exercise for the entire register.

‘We will be able to begin to build a picture by collecting data on new entrants to the register, which we believe is a proportionate approach for a body of our size and resources’.

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