RIBA vice president for practice and profession Jane Duncan has been appointed to head up the institute’s equality campaign
Duncan will lead an investigation into the current causes of inequality in the architectural profession, exploring best practice currently being pursued by other occupations.
She will also support Architects for Change and the RIBA’s Equality and Diversity Forum.
Planned highlights so far in the RIBA’s two-year equality and diversity programme include an ‘Architecture Out’ event with Stonewall in March which will discuss being gay in architecture and a ‘Fluid’ mentoring scheme for women in architecture.
Duncan said: ;The barriers to true equality of access to and working within the profession have been sporadically documented over the last decade through research projects at the RIBA and by others within the industry, including the AJ’s Women in Architecture surveys, but definitive research to understand the full picture is long overdue.
‘I am delighted that the RIBA has committed to a more detailed programme of activity in 2013/14 that includes a wide-ranging investigation into the current hurdles to equality and diversity in the construction industry, including lessons from other professions.’
She added: ‘Architecture needs to reflect and respond to society and our clients’ needs. To ensure the success of our future, our profession needs to better understand the issues and their impact, take positive steps to drive out inequality, and ensure that we support, encourage and inspire the widest possible talent pool.’
RIBA president Angela Brady said: ‘It is great that Duncan is spearheading diversity and women in architecture a subject close to my heart and experience. We need to continue to press the importance of diversity on our profession.’
Commenting on the AJ’s Women in Architecture campaign, she said: ‘It’s great that AJ is continuing its wonderful campaign too. We need to ensure that women and the value they bring to all aspects of practice are included at all levels of practice and are re numerated accordingly.’