The riba has signed up to government plans to attract women to traditionally male-dominated businesses - such as architecture.
Following the launch of the 'Listen Up' policy by minister for women Tessa Jowell last week, the institute has announced it is masterminding a work experience scheme for up to 500 schoolgirls.
Only a quarter of architects qualifying to enter the profession last year were women, meaning that new female entrants into the profession totalled just 176. The government believes that work experience is the key to breaking down barriers.
Recent research carried out by the Construction Industry Careers Group showed that work experience was second only to the influence of parents when girls choose their career path.
So the riba is looking for practices to take on the 13 to 18 year olds for half-day work experience sessions. riba director of education Leonie Milliner said that practices headed by women would be most appropriate to provide role models. riba president, Marco Goldschmied wants the Richard Rogers Partnership, of which he is managing director, to take part in the scheme and he set a target of equal representation of men and women in the profession.
Ove Arup & Partners has also pledged to run 'taster' days. Work experience days are being planned for September or October.