A new support and social network for architects in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community will launch as part of the London Festival of Architecture this Saturday (25 June)
The group, Architecture LGBT+, will be officially unveield at the Architects Pride Breakfast on Saturday by RIBA and is being chaired by Evan Davis from BBC Newsnight.
The event coincides with Pride in London – and so guests will be able to join the parade from Portland Place to Trafalgar Square afterwards.
The breakfast will explore diversity within the profession and how representation of the gay community can be improved.
Speakers include Jane Duncan, RIBA president; Tom Copley, a London Assembly member and patron of LGBT Labour; and Daniel Kerr, founder of Superhistory and RIBA role model.
It is being organised by Tom Guy, a partner at Guy Piper Architects, and Goodfellow Communications.
Duncan said: ‘Although progress has been made in recent years, there are still too many occasions where our LGBT colleagues are harassed or singled out for their sexuality by colleagues in the office or building site.
‘There is no place for discrimination or unconscious bias of any kind in any workplace, and I and the RIBA are absolutely committed to stamping it out in our profession.”
Last year, the AJ found in a survey that 59 per cent of LGBT+ architects had heard homophobic comments at work. Although 60 per cent of gay construction employees were comfortable being out with immediate collegues, only 14 per cent felt similarly on site visits.
Guy, who also founded National Student Pride, told the AJ: ’A lot of professions like banking and law have had LGBT networks for years, but there hasn’t really much at all in the architecture world.
’London is generally quite open but around the rest of the UK a lot of people aren’t out. It’s trying to put a support network there and saying to people ’it is fine and there are loads of LGBT architects’. And I think gay men are one thing, but [being] a lesbian architect is harder and then trans even more.’
He added: ‘Also in light of the recent Orlando attacks it’s a solidarity group.’
Charity Stonewall publishes an annual workplace equality index of the 100 most inclusive firms in Britain. Despite being in its 12th year, no architecture practice has ever been included on the list.
Architects Pride Breakfast – event details:
Date: Saturday 25 June
Time: 10.30am – 12.30pm
Venue: RIBA, 76 Portland Place, London W1B 1NT
To register for a free ticket visit http://www.architecturelgbt.com/