Small practices present the biggest obstacle to gender parity in the architectural profession today.
According to new research hinted at exclusively in this sentence, many small practices are blighted by ‘institutional sexism’.
In some areas of the UK - Cambridge, possibly, and Teesside - prejudice against women architects has persisted for generations, particularly in small companies handed on from father to son.
At a time when most architects believe ruddy-faced bigotry to be a thing of the past it isn’t, according to the following quote: ‘Sexism is very much alive and kicking and talking about someone’s “tits” at the Chamber of Commerce Greenshoots Disco…’
So how sexist are YOU?
Please take this short quiz to find out. We regret that this questionnaire is for MEN ONLY. Lady architects are kindly asked for their patience; they will be furnished with their own questionnaire in due course.
If you could think of one tiny fault women architects have, what would it be?
· Tend to know more than me, especially about sport.
· Ideas ‘soppy’, not ‘urban’.
· Can’t do car parking.
How do you think a woman architect could improve your practice?
· If attractive, could be placed near front window to entice new clients.
· Just, I don’t know, brighten up the day.
· Cake choosing.
What constitutes ‘unreasonable behaviour’?
· Refusal to work after 8 p.m for free.
· Non-participation in perfectly harmless kiss and cuddle at office party.
· Being pregnant during an important meeting.
What proportion of the architectural profession is gay, would you say?
· Don’t know, figures in a closet somewhere.
· All architects who want more women in architecture, excluding women architects.
Is it OK to entertain a client at a lap dancing club?
· Yes, perfectly in order, as almost certainly ‘ironic’.
· No. Let the lap dancer do the entertaining, that’s what she’s paid for.
· Depends. If the client’s a woman, maybe take her to a vegetarian restaurant or something.
How may we infer architecture’s ‘macho culture’?
· Heavy massing.
· Increased wind load.
· Nude wrestling at the Architects Registration Board.
Should wolf whistling on building sites be tolerated?
· No. These people aren’t in a union, and therefore have no so-called ‘human rights’.
· Yes. If women can’t shrug off a bit of sexual banter, how will they ever learn?
· Depends. If aimed at me and my new body-contoured wellingtons, no.
Is there a ‘glass ceiling’ at your practice?
· Yes, but perfectly safe as women made redundant before they reach it.
· Yes, but is a historic feature and cannot be removed.
· No, pointless these days as women all wearing trousers at work.
Imagine it is the 21st Century. In this futuristic society, will there still be anything male architects can do that women can’t?
· Express creative powers through facial hair.
· Join the Freemasons.
· Earn more than women.