Women in Architecture

by | Oct 11, 2018 | Architecture, Featured, Inside BHA

Woman in a large windowed office working on design sketches that are on an office desk.

Female staff in architecture practices in Victoria is on average only 33%…

When given the opportunity, women have excelled in the field.

According to the 2018 PACE report, the industry average of female staff in architecture practices in Victoria is only 33%, which sets Bruce Henderson Architects apart from its competitors as 45% of our staff are female. However, 49% of architectural practices that participated in the survey still do not employ any women at Executive level.

Although this statistic is not encouraging, it is an accurate reflection of an industry which, even at an international level, is struggling to bridge the gender gap, particularly in management and executive roles.

In November 2017 Dezeen magazine discussed results of a survey of the world’s 100 biggest architecture practices, which found that only three were headed by women, and just two had as many female managers as male.

Encouraging news is that the gender gap is beginning to close in architecture schools. In the United States nearly as many women are graduating in architecture as men.

Although recent Australian statistics aren’t available, according to Domain “In the late 1980s, only about 21 per cent of Australia’s registered architects were female. By the mid ’90s, women made up almost half the architectural student cohort.

However, despite this increase in the number of women pursuing architecture as a career, research still clearly demonstrates that across the world women in architecture are hired less and paid less. This indicates that the gender gap closure is still slow in reaching the top of the system.

When given the opportunity, women have clearly excelled in the field of design, as female architects and planners are increasingly engaged in designing our cities.

For example, during the administration of Mayor Bloomberg in New York, Amanda Burden and Janette Sadik-Khan were New York City’s Planning and Transportation Commissioners and they implemented public space initiatives which were transformative in their approach and were well received.

There is hope that a cultural shift will result in a global step away from patriarchal societies, in which we live in cities designed and managed by men.

Through addressing gender pay gaps and embracing women in the world of architecture, there is hope that the women who are studying architecture will go on to be the designers, and executives, of our future.

Written by Elana Ryan

Elana Ryan

Elana Ryan

inspired Architecture and interior Design

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