where do all the women go architecture still has a gender equity problem

The representation of women at senior levels in architecture is still disappointingly low, despite women now making up 31 per cent of the total architecture population in Australia, according to a new report using Census data.

The report, published by gender equity advocacy group Parlour, explores the participation of women in the traditionally male-dominated architecture field.

And the data provides a pretty bleak story of women’s role in architecture, with “muted” growth of women into senior and more influential roles within the profession.

Since the mid ’90s, women have comprised 40 per cent of all architectural graduates and the number of women in architecture has grown from 20 per cent in 2001 to 31 per cent in 2016. In 2016, women make up one-third of architects in New South Wales and Victoria.

Despite equal numbers of women and men entering, and graduating from, architecture school, attrition metrics measured by Parlour reveal that women are present in strong numbers in the junior ranks of the profession, but disappear from its senior levels.

“There is a distinct fall-off in the numbers of women in architecture as they age,” report author Gill Matthewson says.

“It is this unequal attrition that results in the sluggish growth of women’s numbers and that suggests that gender biases are a contributing factor in women ‘leaving’.”

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