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RIBA welcomes Harman's Equality Bill

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The RIBA has described the proposed Equality Bill – due later in the year – as a ‘welcome step’ in the battle to recruit and retain more women and minority groups to the architecture profession.

The bill, outlined last week by equality minister Harriet Harman (pictured), supersedes 116 different pieces of equality legislation currently on the statute book.

Virginia Newman, of the RIBA's equality and diversity forum Architects for Change, said the bill would ‘provide an advanced tool to support the recruitment of female and BME [black and ethnic-minority] architects'.

'It will help ensure that discriminatory practices, such as unequal pay, will be a thing of the past,’ Newman added.

Currently only 14 per cent of the architecture profession is made up of women. In a statement, the RIBA said: ‘While there are similar numbers of females and males entering education, there is a disproportionate and high number of women failing to enter the profession and leaving once they have.

‘Research commissioned by the RIBA found that family commitments combined with a male-dominated, inflexible and time-consuming workplace are the root causes.’

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