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Women architects in the north paid less

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More than half of full-time women architects earn less than £33,000 compared to 42 per cent in the south

More than half (55 per cent) of this year’s respondents were based in London – up from a third in 2014. This rise could be a result of the boom in construction in the capital, which has lured architects from the regions.

The rest of the UK made up 32 per cent of respondents to the survey, with 5 per cent in Scotland, less than 1 per cent in Northern Ireland, 9 per cent in northern England, 12 per cent in the south of England, 4 per cent in the Midlands, and 1 per cent in Wales.

There are clear differences between the north and south. Fewer women in the north work part-time, with 84 per cent of female architects in the north of England employed full time, compared to 63 per cent in the south.

Woman architects in the north are also paid less: more than half (52 per cent) of full-time women architects earn less than £33,000 compared to 42 per cent in the south. Yet perception of pay differs little between north, south, and London, with slightly more than 40 per cent of female architects in all three regions believing they would be paid more if they were male.

The north has more young architects – with 79 per cent of qualified women working in practice being under the age of 40. This is similar to London where 73 per cent of female architects are under 40, whereas in the south there is a 50:50 split.

In Scotland, 70 per cent of women architects who responded to the survey work full time – a decrease in last year’s huge 87 per cent.

More than half (56 per cent) of Scottish female architects working full time earn less than £33,000, and a mere 4 per cent take home more than £48,000, although just 22 per cent believe they would be paid more if they were male.

About the survey

The AJ’s Women in Architecture Survey has become a major annual event and this year, more people than ever have taken part – 1,104.

It hasn’t just been women responding: 20 per cent of responses came from men, allowing us to compare what male and female practitioners think.

As well as architects – who made up 56 per cent of respondents – clients, consultants, academics, engineers, PRs and developers also filled out the survey.

Now in its fourth year, the survey forms a vital part of The AJ’s on-going programme aimed at raising the status of women in the profession and celebrating their work.

The annual data, collected anonymously and focused this year on the UK profession alone, allows us to track progress in perception, pay equality, and gender balance over time. Previous results have been published widely in the national media, used by the RIBA, and referred to by government. 

The evidence published reveals the definitive picture of the life of a working, female architect today.

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