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Survey: Sexism Rising in Architecture

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

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Unequal pay and a lack of respect within the building community are among the gender inequality issues facing women in architecture and a new survey suggests those problems are far from over.

“Two-thirds of women in architecture say they have suffered sexual discrimination at work,” according to a survey conducted by Architects’ Journal, a British publication. That figure is up from 58 percent reported in 2011.

In the U.S. specifically, the survey found that 17 percent of women in the profession say they experience sexual discrimination on a weekly or daily basis.


Occupational Outlook Handbook; U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Women architects get paid 33 percent less than their male counterparts, according to the “Women in Architecture Survey,” conducted by Architects’ Journal.

These and other findings were reported as part of the Journal’s third-annual survey “Women in Architecture,” which resulted in responses from over 900 architects and design professionals, including more than 700 women from the U.S., U.K. and Europe.

Results of the survey are available here.

Unequal Pay

The survey revealed a 33 percent gap in salaries of male and female architects.

The perceived pay gap is more pronounced in the U.S., with 59 percent of U.S.-based female architects believing they would be paid more if they were male, compared with 34 percent of UK-based women architects, the Journal reports.

According to the survey, 38 percent of female architects working full time in the U.S. earn less than £42,000 ($69,148) compared with just five percent of male architects.

In addition, 88 percent of women believe that having children puts them at a disadvantage in the architecture field, the survey found.

Respect Lacking

Women architects surveyed say they suffer a significant lack of respect within the building industry.


© Venturi Scott Brown Architects

In 2013, architect Denise Scott Brown, 82, said the Pritzker organization owed her a ceremony 22 years after her husband received the award. A global petition to that affect received almost 18,000 signatures. The organization denied the call for the award, but the high-profile debate inspired discussions on female recognition within the industry and other gender inequality issues.

In the U.S., 74 percent of respondents say they do not believe the building industry has fully accepted the authority of the female architect. That figure compares with 63 percent of women surveyed in the U.K. and 52 percent in Europe.

Despite the figures, 65 percent of women architects in the U.S. are optimistic that additional professional opportunities for women are on the rise.

About the Survey

Almost a third of the respondents for the survey were based in London, 24 percent in the rest of England, 8 percent in Scotland, 1 percent in Wales, 2 percent in Northern Ireland, and 4 percent from the rest of Europe.

The number of people completing the survey from the U.S. increased from 4 percent in 2013 to 24 percent this year, the Journal reported.

The survey is a described as a vital part of the publication’s “on-going campaign to raise the status and profile of women in architecture.”


Tagged categories: Architects; Architecture; Business matters; Business operations; Color + Design; Design; Industry surveys

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