Equality survey: Calling all gay, lesbian and bisexual architects
Take the AJ’s anonymous survey of gay, lesbian and bisexual architects and help us uncover how practices are faring in supporting equality
The AJ survey was launched after equality lobby group Stonewall singled out architecture and built environment companies for failing to rank in its annual Workplace Equality Index of 100 leading firms.
Top 10-ranked companies included heavyweight consultancy Accenture, closely followed by the Home Office and computing giant IBM.
The league table started in 2005 and is based on a ranking of companies efforts to improve sexual orientation equality. Transgender rights are not covered by Stonewall’s remit.
Chris Edwards, who joined the charity as client manager in 2010 after six years at CABE says: ‘When I was working at CABE I found it depressing that there were so few built environment-related organisations working with Stonewall.
‘There are no planning firms, no architecture or landscape architecture firms. Many of the other sectors are so well represented and it just seems there’s an obvious gap.’
In addition, only four built environment companies are participating in Stonewall’s Diversity Champions Programme, representing just 0.6 per cent of the 627 participating organisations.
Edwards argues this is disproportionate when 12 per cent of the UK’s workforce is employed in the construction and property sector, suggesting it highlights a wider reluctance in the construction industry to address sexual orientation equality issues.