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Women architects paid a quarter less than men

Women architects earn 25 per cent less than their male counterparts, new figures have revealed

On average women in the construction industry are paid 12 per cent less than men, but this figure rises to 25 per cent for architects – the second-worst sector within the industry after construction and building trades supervisors, according to ONS data (see attached).

These 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: 44 per cent of UK women architects earn less than £32,000 a year, compared with 30 per cent of male architects.

Is the fact that we are paying women less indicative of the fact that we value them less?

Reacting to the ONS figures, Chrissi McCarthy, managing director of Constructing Equality said: ‘We must ask the question: “Is the fact that we are paying women less indicative of the fact that we value them less?” If so, it’s likely that they will have noticed and we must therefore consider the impact that this has on their career choices.’

Kate Lloyd, fairness, inclusion and respect manager for CITB, which is launching the BeFair Framework to champion equality in the industry, said: ‘What possible justification can there be for paying men and women different rates for doing what, to all intents and purposes, is the same job? As an industry, we need to address this issue, and fast. If we fail to bridge these wage gaps, we won’t be able to attract women into this industry or keep them. It’s as simple as that.

‘The BeFair Framework, which will launch in June, will help construction companies be more aware of fairness, inclusion and respect issues including equal pay. It will help us to challenge the outdated perceptions of the construction industry so that we can create the workforce of the future.’

Readers' comments (9)

  • Please can you post the link to the ONS statistics

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  • Su Butcher

    Hi Robert, the statistics are in an excel spreadsheet under the title' Related Files' - on my browser this is just to the right of the article.

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  • If this survey is correct then I would like to understand which architectural practices still believe this is acceptable. It seems unthinkable that a supposedly forward thinking profession still acts like this. As laurel and hardy would say 'that's another fine mess you got me into'

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  • Name and shame those practices.

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  • I can't help being amused by the related article on PRIBA's comment on this headed by a photo that shows him grinning broadly (conspiratorially?) to someone off-camera to his right.

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  • Without a clear breakdown of the age, experience and exact roles of the architects surveyed these percentages are vague and frankly unhelpful to your campaign (which I fully support.).

    Are a higher percentage of women architects younger and less experienced, thereby earning less? I don't know as this survey doesn't tell us..

    To sum up the journalistic integrity of the author of this article, there is no mention that the 25% figure they brandish in the headline is for part-time architects, (17% for full-time). The women in architecture campaign is about respect, cherry picking vague facts and presenting them falsely and without context is in my opinion counter-productive and doesn't help solve any issues.



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  • Posted that too soon.

    I take back my final point, the 25% is correct, but the first two points stand. Without context any conclusions as to why this is the case are pure speculation.

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  • J MORRIS

    Which practices, and are we taking about a straight position for position comparison? If the statistics suggest blatant discrimination, name and shame each practice individually including the directors who set out such a policy. I know of no practices within my network which deploy inequality. Our office, for example, employs a strict grade system, with absolutely no distinction between age, gender, race...simply experience and qualifications. I'd be interested to see what responses are encouraged if this course of action is pursued.

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  • Thanks Su- Didn't see it there!

    To a certain extent I have to agree with ajmh- the ons statistics given are incomplete so it is very difficult to compare them as they do. However there is enough other evidence from the AJ's own survey to back up the assertion that female architects are paid less. I know of no practice which does this but it must happen- so what are we going to do about it? A better survey would help but ultimately unless there is campaign to 'out' the practices who are paying less, I can see nothing will happen.

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