Observations | Women in Architecture
International Women’s Day on March 8th is a day to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievement of women. As a woman-owned business, we try to celebrate and acknowledge those achievements every day. Part of acknowledging the success of women’s advancements is understanding that inequality still exists and having the drive to work to combat it. Principal Ellen Bailey Dickson was recognized as a Fellow in the American Institute of Architects (AIA) for her role as a mentor and advocate for women in architecture.
Gender roles in the architecture industry are far from equal. Women make up 41 percent of architecture graduates, yet only 18 percent of licensed architects are women. According to the 2016 Women in Architecture survey, there are several factors that could deter these women from pursuing licensure:
• Women typically make 20 percent less than their male counterparts
• Almost 75 percent of women in architecture said they had experienced sexual discrimination on the job
• One in five female respondents said they would not recommend a job in architecture
• Over 60 percent responded that the building industry has not fully accepted the authority of the female architect
• 59 percent of females responded that having children had a detrimental effect on their career
“Women have a lot to give the profession. As our “master-builder” profession faces pressure from technology and the building industry, women will prove to be architecture’s turn-around engine with our natural empathy, perspicacity, and ability to recognize the stink of ego. Women are leaders clients can believe in.” – Ellen Bailey Dickson, FAIA
Across several industries, women have been taking a stand, pointing out inequality as it pertains to their job, and bringing light to the issue is important and effective. However, action is needed to change the standards for the industry. Advocacy groups like Equity by Design are working towards understanding the barriers for women in architecture so that they may properly be addressed and minimized.
“We need to get away from this idea that it's a women-only problem. It's frankly all of our problems.” – Emily Grandstaff-Rice, FAIA