Where are all the Female Architects?

Architecture remains a tough profession for women to crack. The roles of women in the fields of architecture and design have long been largely overlooked due to gender discrimination. Fortunately, there are professional organizations that support women in overcoming these traditional barriers. Yet, there are many women who broke the glass ceiling in the field of architecture, establishing successful careers and designing some of the world’s most admired landmark buildings and urban settings.

According to the statistics, half of the gradate degrees in architecture are females, yet only 1% or less are in director positions in architectural practice. In the United States, only 18% of licensed practitioners are women. Moreover, women are given less salaries compared to male architects with fewer career-building opportunities. If we compare this percentage with other disciplines, in the medicine and law nearly twice the rate of architects is female. Female architects earn 20% less than male architects according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Zaha Hadid: creator of ambitious wonders – and a fair share of blunders |  Art and design | The Guardian

In a world we are living today, and the increasingly diverse population, users are fivers in their needs and deserve to be served equally by professionals.

It was not until 1972 which forbade discrimination against women practice architecture. Even with the admission, some people remained skeptical and women architects stayed doubtful that they could exercise authority on the site. Some managers and business leaders assumed that women would quit after marrying or having a child, that justified why women aid less compared to male colleagues. Today, the reports showed that 75% of women having experienced sexual discrimination in their jobs. The survey showed that 83% of female workers believed that having a child would affect their careers and that is why women get 20% less paid than male architects (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics).

Currently, some professional organizations and advocacy groups are trying to remove the obstacles with symposiums, workshops, and research. Some schools of architecture are also attempting to educate the students by public lectures series to show the importance of this topic and women issues in workspaces.

Discrimination against women architects comes from clients too. Some refuses to acknowledge the authority and skills of a woman. When a woman introduce herself to the client as an architect, often confronts conspicuous and disbelief. Some of the women architects assume that she chosen the wrong field and she does not belong to where she is now. This should not happen in era of civilization.

Trailblazing Women in Architecture Who Have Changed Life for the Better

Amelia at the Undercover Architect wrote about being a female architect in an industry dominated by men. She mentioned that she deals with interesting gender challenges with statement like (That’s just what a woman would do, or are you going to be emotional today?). Amelia talked that she was not afraid of asking questions to understand more or to collaborate with clients and team members to understand more about achieving better outcomes and more satisfied clients.

  1. Whether you are a female or male architect, your home should be the launchpad for your life. You get support from your family and friends if you are facing troubles.
  2. You know your design is well when it is invisible, it is because it’s doing the job so well.
  3. Seth Godin said, “Design is about function. Everything we do has a job, and if it’s designed properly, the job will get done well.”
  4. It all come to individual designers, their skills and abilities to help clients. A good designer should listen, collaborate, respond without ego to your needs.

“If You Want an Easy Life, Don’t Be an Architect”

Zaha Hadid

Source of material:

1- https://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-stratigakos-missing-women-architects-20160421-story.html

2- https://www.lifeofanarchitect.com/design-studio-top-10-things-you-should-know/

3- https://undercoverarchitect.com/do-women-make-better-architects/#:~:text=The%20stats%20don’t%20stack,director%20positions%20in%20architectural%20practices.

5- https://www.thoughtco.com/famous-female-architects-177890

Share your opinion about this topic. Why do you think women are being discriminated against in our society?

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