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Announcing a new global remit for Women in Architecture

Women in Architecture, the global campaign and awards, is entering into partnership with the Architectural Review

Five years ago, shocked by the results of a survey I had commissioned while editor of the Architects’ Journal, I decided to launch the Women in Architecture campaign and awards.

The ambition was to inspire change by celebrating great women architects and in doing so, to create role models for young women in practice, while highlighting key issues such as the pay gap and lack of career progression that is endemic for women architects.

A sister title to The Architectural Review, founded 120 years ago, the very first issue of the Architects’ Journal ever published was entitled ‘Men who Build.’ In 2012, we published its very first edition dedicated to women in the profession.

Since that day, I am proud to have seen what began as a survey and a magazine, grow into a campaign, coveted awards and one of the most celebrated events on London’s architectural calendar. The luncheon typically sells out in less than 48 hours, and is known for its inspiring speeches from leading figures such as Zaha Hadid, Sheila O’Donnell from O’Donnell + Tuomey, Farshid Moussavi, Phyllis Lambert, Yvonne Farrell of Grafton architects, Denise Scott Brown and more. Next year’s will take place at Claridge’s on 4 March, 2016.

Women in the UK tell me they have been inspired by the UK campaign, the awards and associated events. Female students say it has expanded their canon of architecture to include women, historical and contemporary. And the winners of the WIA awards have also mentioned a welcome uplift of work for their practices, as well as a shared sense of pride among their employees.

Now, I am excited to announce a new chapter for Women in Architecture as it takes on a global remit by entering into partnership with The Architectural Review. As its new publishing partner, the AR will now run the Women in Architecture awards, accepting entries from women around the world for its honours, which include the Jane Drew Prize lifetime achievement award, the Ada Huxtable Prize and awards for the Woman Architect of the Year and Emerging Woman Architect of the Year.

As part of this new global campaign, we will also be undertaking a global survey of women in architecture, collecting global research to further understand the pressure points that have led to such an imbalance in the UK and USA, which is not replicated in countries such as Sweden. As a global voice, The Architectural Review can form a network that enables us to learn from each other and make great strides together.

To support our work on the campaign, and allow architects to make a greater commitment to equal practice, we are also launching a unique accreditation programme. Architecture practices can publicly state their commitment to equality by signing up to the accreditation programme, which will ask them to make a number of commitments to support equality within their organisation. Only accredited partners can display the Women in Architecture accreditation logo on their website and recruitment material, which will serve as a public marker of an enlightened employer, impressing clients and encouraging staff retention. Partner practices will also be listed on The Architectural Review website and in a print edition of the magazine dedicated to the WIA awards. 2016 WIA partner practices include Darling Associates, EPR Architects, Pollard Thomas Edwards and Purcell. If you are interested in finding out more, please contact Lydia Handley Millard on

Through the Women in Architecture programme, we will work to raise the profile of women in architecture around the world, inspiring change as the united voice of this global call for respect, diversity and equality. Together we can create a new archetype, no longer simply ‘Men who Build’. For the future of architecture to be relevant, we must shake off the shackles of the gentleman’s profession. The new architect is a vibrant, socially relevant, maker of places for people. Together we can make it so.


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