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Ruth Reed, president-elect of the RIBA

The newly elected next president of the RIBA talks about women in architecture, living in Birmingham and building her own house

You will be the first female president of the RIBA – do you think that’s relevant?
I didn’t want to be elected because I am a woman; I wanted to be elected because I will be good for the job – it wasn’t a keystone of my campaign. However, I would like to be a role model for female students and I would like to feel my election will encourage women to stay in the profession, too.

You beat your rival, Andrew Hanson, by only 506 votes. Will you be working together?
Yes, I am hoping to work with Andrew – he’s a smashing chap. We did discuss it when we were on the road but so far we have only communicated by text. I thanked him for being such a companionable opponent – it could all have been quite aggressive and competitive.

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