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Initiatives promoting gender equality in architecture

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The AR Women in Architecture campaign is an annual survey, a partner programme and a series of events and annual awards: here we present a selection of other initiatives promoting equity and equality in architecture and design around the world

If you would like to refer us to an organisation or initiative not featured here please email lili.zarzycki@emap.com


Marking one hundred years of the Architectural Association in Bedford Square, London, the AA celebrated the centenary of women in the school (1917-2017) with AAXX 100, a multi-media project linking a major exhibition, lectures, website, international conference and publications, including a collection of historical and critical writing about AA women

Architectural Record: Women in Architecture Forum & Awards

Architectural Record are now in their fifth year of awards highlighting the contributions of women in architecture. Their November forum saw awards presented to Elizabeth Diller, Lisa Iwamoto, Peggy Deamer, Upali Nanda, and Ellen Dunham-Jones, across categories that recognise achievements across the fields of architectural practice, education, and activism.


Architecture+Women•NZ seeks to raise the profile of women working in architecture and associated fields. This is done through events, research, online networks, and the provision of resources for practices and institutions.


Architexx is a non-profit for gender equity in architecture: ‘a group of academics and practitioners for the advancement of all women-identified, non-binary, gender non-conforming, and allied individuals’. Based in the USA and co-founded by Lori Brown and Nina Freedman, Architexx aims to bridge the academy with practice through workshops, university hubs, mentorship groups, and the provision of resources for practices.

Associazione Donne Architetto

A.D.A. is an Italian advocacy and support group promoting women in architecture. They aim to protect and subsidize the work of women architects, to fight discrimination, and to promote an international network of similar initiatives. 


The Association for Women in Architecture and Design is a professional society that provides educational programming, mentoring, and resources for career development for students and professionals in architecture and design. Their 50:50 initiative asks industry leaders to commit to achieving an equal ratio of men and women in their firm structures by 2020.


Building Equality in Architecture Toronto is an independent organisation dedicated to supporting equality and diversity in architecture through advocacy, community engagement, the support of minorities, and professional development. They create events and present a platform to promote the advancement of women in the profession, providing opportunities for networking and mentorship. 

Die Architektin

Concerned with equality both in practice and academia, Architektin is an online archive and publishing platform for discussion of the issues facing women in architecture and design.

Ethel Day

Ethel Day is an annual event held by the Royal Institute of British Architects, that celebrates the contribution of women to the profession of architecture. The day is inspired by Ethel Mary Charles, the first woman to be elected to membership of RIBA in 1898.


Equity by Design is described as a ‘call to action to realize the goal of equitable practice for everyone, advance the profession and communicate the value of architecture to society’. Their Equity in Architecture Survey was designed with the goal of generating a comprehensive data set detailing current positions and career experiences of architecture school graduates in the US, and, given the drop-off rate between those graduating from US architecture programmes and women who are licensed architects, research on where the women in architecture seem to go.

International Archive of Women in Architecture

IAWA was established in 1985 as a joint program of the College of Architecture and Urban Studies and the University Libraries at Virginia Tech, USA. The purpose of the archive is to document the history of women’s contributions to the built environment by collecting, preserving, and providing access to the records of womens’ architectural organisations and the professional papers of women architects, designers, planners, and architectural historians and critics.


Parlour is an organisation that brings together research, informed opinion and resources on women, equity and architecture in Australia. It aims to promote gender equity in architecture through the development of advocacy programmes and resources, providing a space for discussion and developing or strengthening networks and communities of interest around the issue of gender equity. 

Prix des femmes architectes

Organised by ARVHA, the Association pour la Recherche sur la Ville et l’Habitat, the Prix des femmes architectes aims to highlight the work and careers of women architects. 2018 will see the 6th edition of the awards, presented on 11th December.

Union Internationale des Femmes Architectes

Founded in 1963 and with a scant online presence, UIFA encourages exchange through international congresses hosted  around the world every few years. It is unclear whether UIFA will rise again, but you can view the list of past congresses here (in Spanish) or explore the 2015 congress here.


The association for Women in Architecture, Taiwan promotes the recognition of women in Taiwanese architectural history, through the research of histories that have been excluded by a male-dominated narrative. WAT uses an expanded definition of architectural practice that includes professionals in interior, landscape, and urban design alongside licensed architects, as well as educators and academics.

Women Architects

Women Architects is a Slovakian non-profit organisation that provides support and promotion of women in architecture and related professions, that organises lectures and exhibitions to promote women architects and their work. 

Lead image: Architectural Association alumna Zaha Hadid cutting through a cake representing her Hong Kong Peak Project of 1983. Image courtesy of Architectural Association Photo Library

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