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Hodder: lower wages for female architects 'deplorable'

RIBA president Stephen Hodder has slammed practices which pay female architects less than men, after figures revealed women in architecture were earning 25 per cent less than their male counterparts

Speaking as the Office for National Statistics (ONS) released shocking new data showing an ‘appalling’ pay imbalance between the sexes, Hodder said: ‘It is not only deplorable for a man to get paid more than a woman for doing the same job, it is illegal.

‘As employees and employers we all have a role to play, for example by learning from mentors and role models, and demanding realistic fees from our clients to support fair, ethical and sustainable businesses.’

He added: ‘As a profession we all need to take responsibility to turn around the appalling lack of equality and diversity that pervades.’

Published earlier today, the ONS statistics revealed that women in the construction industry were being paid 12 per cent less than men. This figure rises to 25 per cent for architects – the second-worst sector within the industry after construction and building trades supervisors.

The new figures show that the situation is far worse than the AJ’s annual Women in Architecture Survey suggested back in January.

The AJ survey pointed to a 14 per cent difference in the full-time salaries of men and women architects at the lower end of the pay scale with 44 per cent of UK women architects earning less than £32,000 a year, compared with 30 per cent of male architects.

RIBA equality and diversity champion, Jane Duncan also commented: ‘This worrying ONS data demonstrates the ever-present need for concerted action on equality in the architectural profession.

‘The key issue is empowerment, of those who run practices, and of those who are employed - in particular women. As a profession we need to be more aware of the unsustainable effects of a low pay culture and educate ourselves to ensure women have an equal, meaningful place within our industry.’

She added: ‘We need to act on fees to enable us to provide quality output and better outcomes for clients; we need employee-focused flexible working, and a diverse work culture to ensure the innovation which is needed from architects.

‘Finally, pay needs to reflect the commitment of time to train through life, skills accrued and value of creative input which our people-based profession feeds on. We must put an end to this insidious and sickening epidemic that is blighting our profession.’

Readers' comments (1)

  • We are debating salary differences between male and female architects which is 100% the right thing to be doing. But whilst on this topic I think we should address the other significant issue within the industry... the fact that we are all grossly underpaid. The following is a job advertisement currently (24/04/2014) shown on the AJ:

    Newly Qualified Architect
    £20000.00 - £25000.00 per annum

    This cannot be considered adequate remuneration for 7 years study, three qualifications and the accompanying knowledge. I am fully behind equal pay, having been fortunate enough to have worked with both brilliant male and female architects. Both have different skills to offer, but both are equally significant.

    The recruitment firm advertising this measly job, will pull in at least 20% of the agreed annual salary. They require no specialist training, they don't belong to a regulatory body and they earn an extortionate amount of money in comparison. If companies can afford to pay the 20% fee, why don't we start appointing directly and offer some of this cost to the employees?

    Unsuitable or offensive?

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