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Headline

Women in architectural academia

Comment

I applaud Matthew Barac for showcasing this roll call of excellent women who are leading the education and training of the next generation of architects. I recall my delight in being taught by Sarah Wigglesworth in my second year and my dismay at the thought of a lack of female mentors in third year (which prompted me to take action with Studio Master Eric Parry who then recruited the inspirational Carolyn Steele). At the same time, I am struck by the success of women in education in penetrating the glass ceiling (for example becoming professors) relative to the low proportion of women running practices and working in the rest of the profession. What does this contradiction say about working in education? Women value flexibility and are prepared to accept the low pay, which comes with part-time, short-term contracts, and which in turn demonstrates women's vocation. What does this state of affairs say about practices and the rest of the profession? Practices are missing out on an extremely motivated and dedicated talent pool. Technology allows amazing flexibility - and we all know that time spent in the office does equal amount of work done. I believe astute practices should value 'life skills' and not be afraid of 'career breaks' in their teams. I am convinced it makes sense for the profession to take advantage of recruiting and retaining women architects. I am cheered by the increased visibility of women in architectural education and hope it will lead to parity in the profession within my lifetime.

Posted date

14 October, 2013

Posted time

11:57 am

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