Women in Architecture has launched a series of events challenging the profession’s long-standing gender imbalance as new redundancies are again expected to hit women hardest
According to recent statistics, just 17 per cent of practising architects are women, despite the fact that 40 per cent of architecture graduates are female.
RIBA president-elect and Women in Architecture founder Angela Brady said: ‘This figure is disappointing and likely to drop again. During a recession, women are very often the first to be let go.’
The situation has improved from a decade ago, when 11 per cent of architects were female and the DiverseCity campaign was launched. Brady said: ‘Back then we were aiming to reach at least 25 per cent, but we’ve not because practices have not changed.’
To raise awareness, Women in Architecture is hosting a series of events and workshops on 17-19 October at the RIBA’s headquarters in London and the Women’s Library at London Metropolitan University. The DiverseCity website will also be relaunched.
Clare Wright, partner at Wright & Wright Architects, said: ‘[The biggest obstacle] is the idea that to be useful you have to be in the office for very long hours, and I don’t think that is healthy for men or women.’
Agnieszka Glowacka, co-founder of Glowacka Rennie Architects, added: ‘[Employers] need to accept that creativity, ambition and professionalism are not expunged by motherhood.’
Women in Architecture programme highlights
• ‘Diversity and Common Ground’ and ‘Dieci Immagini’, 9.30am-1pm, Monday 18 October at the Building Centre, London WC1. Speakers: Yvonne Farrell, Joanna van Heyningen and Angela Brady
•’Creating Change Workshop for Students’, 10am-4.30pm, Monday 18 October at London Metropolitan University School of Architecture & Spatial Design, London N7.
•Women in Architecture reception, talks and Online exhibition launch, 6-8.30pm, Monday 18 October at The Women’s Library, London Metropolitan University, London E1 7NT
• RIBA Trust Talk, ‘Creating Change: Architecture and International Development’, 6.30pm, Tuesday
19 October, Jarvis Hall, RIBA, London W1