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As many women as men under 30 on the register but in all only 1% black, ARB data shows

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Equal numbers of young women and young men were practising architecture at the start of this year, a report from the Architects Registration Board (ARB) has revealed

The body’s 2019 annual report showed that the gender split for architects under the age of 30 was exactly 50:50. Across all ages, 71 per cent of those on the official register were men at the end of last year.

However, in terms of racial diversity, the ARB’s latest data seems to echo the findings from the recent AJ100 survey, which showed that black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) architects remain hugely under-represented in the majority of firms.

The board’s annual report gave ‘an indication’ that just 1 per cent of architects were black and that the proportion of white British architects had actually increased from 79 per cent in 2018 to 84 per cent in 2019.

The ARB started collecting equality and diversity information about UK architects in 2012 and, as of 2019, held data for approximately 62 per cent of the register.

The latest statistics also showed that the number of cases referred for formal investigation by the ARB’s Professional Conduct Committee almost doubled to 83, up from 48 in 2018.

Other information revealed in the annual report included:

  • There were 42,547 architects on the Architects Register at the end of 2019, up from 41,170 the year before
  • There were 2,368 new admissions to the register in 2019
  • Removals from the register were up slightly on the year before, mostly linked to non-payment of the annual fee
  • ARB handled 224 formalised complaints on architect conduct and competence, up from 174 the year before
  • There were 741 complaints received about misuse of the title architect – 733 of those were resolved without the need for formal action and eight led to prosecutions, including one which resulted in penalties totalling £24,318

Marc Stoner, acting chief executive and registrar at the ARB, said: ‘As well as the continued growth of the Architects Register, we experienced increased demand for our services in 2019, particularly in relation to the prescription of qualifications and requests for proof of registration and qualification certificates.

’I am grateful for the ARB team’s professionalism and hard work over the past year. At an organisational level, I’m also proud of our progress in becoming a Living Wage employer and making important improvements in our environmental sustainability.’

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Readers' comments (2)

  • Now that is a big story.

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  • The article says that 84% of architects are white British, which is actually lower than the percentage of the white population for Britain as a whole (87%). Does this 84% figure include white architects working in Britain from other European countries? If it does then you could argue that the architectural profession in regard to race is broadly representative in regard to the proportion of white to BAME architects.

    Of course the number of black architects should be higher, and we should aim to achieve a fair and reflective demographic within the profession and wider industry not only for ethnicity but for other areas too. There is certainly more to be done.

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