“Architecture is a male-dominated profession and Women architects are nowhere near the limelight”.
This statement might not deem fit concerning the current scenario of the architectural fraternity but the profession is free from gender disparities is a tough call to take. Statistically, to date, only 20% of total Women graduates work as professionals which is not a number to be embraced. We started with gender inequity but things will be changing, we just need to stay constant towards those goals.
To catalyze the process, some organizations are conceived who are dedicated to working toward women’s empowerment in the field of construction and architecture.
Listed are a few of them-
It is a Non-Governmental Organization founded by Anastasia Elrouss to integrate women into the construction sector. It was conceived looking at the absence of females in many sectors, specifically construction, architecture, and urban planning, in the Middle East countries, and these professions were considered male-dominated. The gender-based exclusion discourages girls from a young age to abstain from taking up professions that are not meant for them, ignoring the fact that they might be good at them. The organization is aimed to develop an inclusive atmosphere with the help of Women contributing to the cause. The founder is an architect and well-aware of the stature of female professionals especially in the construction industry and the organization aims to be present in every city where women are marginalized. It is working to help females get a job in the sector they are efficient in and have an impact on the growth of the city.
2) 400 Forward
It is an initiative by Tiffany Brown that inspires and mentors young female professionals. She started the initiative to ensure that girls tracing the path of architecture and design know their role as a professional and they can willingly contribute towards shaping the face of the design industry. She won a knight foundation grant for 400 forward which she is using to organize workshops, seminars, and learning sessions for African American girls to impart knowledge and skills about art and architecture. Her initiative spreads awareness about the lack of practicing black professionals and encourages more involvement from the same. It introduces young girls to architecture, provides them with scholarships for pursuing architecture and design, and pays for licensing exams and study materials for African-American women.
3) Part W
It is a collective founded by Zoe Berman in 2018 and co-chaired by architect Alice Brownfield. It is a group of women working in the design, construction, planning, sustainability, infrastructure, and architecture industry. With the Motto- Talks should lead to actions, they discuss and narrate stories about their experiences in the field and work towards change. The women at Part W believe in small actions leading to changes and have faith in the power of actions. They aim to exclude inequality and experience spaces that are designed for all and by all. Organize campaigns and conferences that bring to attention the need for an inclusive arrangement of workspaces.
It is an organization Co-founded by Justine Clark, Naomi Stead, Gill Matthewson, Susie Ashworth, Julie Willis, and Karen Burns as a part of the Australian Research Council-funded research project Equity and Diversity in the Australian Architecture Profession: Women, Work, and Leadership. It is based in Australia and collaborates with people in and around Australia. It is an advocacy research-based organization working towards promoting gender equity in the professions related to design and architecture. The organization provides research and evidence to foster change. They work to promote dialogue about the state of the industry in terms of gender equity and devise solutions that lead to change.
In association with the law of 1901, this organization was founded in 1993 by a group of architects to do research and training in the field of living environment and housing. With the support of the Ministry of Culture and Communication, the Ministry of Women’s Rights, the European Social funds, the region Ile-de-France, and the Pavillon de l’Arsenal, it organizes courses on various subjects. The research by ARVHA focuses on three domains – accessibility for everyone, sustainable development, and professional equality in the field of Architecture. Along with programs working for Gender equity, it has also organized prizes for women architects since 2013. It is intended towards showcasing the work of female architects and for young designers to have an inspiration to look up to in the field.
It is an organization for gender equity in architecture founded by Lori Brown and Nina Freedman to bridge the gap between education and practice. It aims at promoting women in leadership and diversity in the professional realm. It facilitates dialogue about the profession and different concerning issues that encourage young professionals to look at themselves as agents of change irrespective of gender or stature.
7) Her City
It is a platform working towards the involvement of females in urban development. It is an Urban joint initiative by think tank global utmaning and UN habitat to promote mainstream participation of girls in the urban planning sector. They have devised digital tools to incorporate within cities and communities to narrate guidelines of planning a city from a ‘her’ perspective. It is a different initiative that talks about the vulnerable state of females in urban areas and negligence of factors concerning them while planning urban areas. There is believed to be a lack of Knowledge and Her city aims to bridge that knowledge gap. It is a guide for inclusive urban planning together with girls.
8) Rebel Architette
It is a platform that aims to eliminate inequalities and put into the limelight women’s contribution to the architecture and design industry. It researches and documents the work of female professionals from all over the world and tries to map it in one place. This is an initiative to collect information about female architects and provide them with the recognition that they deserve. Women architects are working on different narratives and coming up with multivarious designs that should be communicated and discussed, that is what Rebel Architette aims to do. It has completed its map of the works of 1000 female professionals to date.