Last night I had the privilege to be a panellist at the ‘Incidentally a Woman: Equality in Architecture’ debate chaired by Dr. Harriet Harris, architect, academic and author of ‘A Gendered Profession’. The event was organised by Sto Werkstatt with the aim to address issues of equality in architecture on the symbolic date of Britain’s gender pay gap. The 10th November has been calculated by the Fawcett Society to equate when an average woman in the UK effectively begins working for free until the end of the year.
Representing the RIBA’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Forum, Architects for Change, as co-chair, I shared my career story to date and our panel considered alternative methods to promote equality in architecture resulting in actionable ideas for change. The debate highlighted issues such as equal pay and a culture of working long hours which impacts family life, work/life balance and the health and wellbeing of all. It was also discussed that change has to start from grassroots level by providing better career advice on your pathway to becoming an architect. The RIBA’s Role Models initiative is a step in the right direction in promoting architects from all backgrounds.