Women in architecture_

Stand back men! It’s time to give the women a fair shot_

In a world where we have a set day to celebrate women being equal to men, there is still a huge divide when looking at certain industries, architecture being one of them. When starting university, there is a 50/50 split between the number of men and women studying architecture. But, even as the gender gap closes in architecture school, with nearly as many women graduating in architecture as the men, research shows that across the world women are hired less, paid less and blocked from key creative positions at the top of firms. Only 25 per cent of qualified architects are female and 17.5 per cent of RIBA chartered architects are women.

So what happens to these newly qualified architects that are women? Do they become frustrated due to the many gender based boundaries set for them? Or is it as simple as to say that once they have finished their studies some of these women decide on a career change? Or maybe start a family? With childcare costs in the UK being at an all-time high, it is understandable that some of these women who start a family don’t return to work straight away, do they then miss the gap? Are they then shunned upon because they have taken time out of their career to focus on their family, while the men have taken this time to climb the career ladder.

According to the 2016 Women in Architecture survey, women who make it to partner level take home a shocking £55,000 less than men at the same level. Do these women fail to strive for the big positions in architecture because they know that If they dedicate themselves to their career then there is still a huge chance that they will be settling for a wage that’s not equal to men in the same job roles.

At Agenda Recruitment we believe in equality, so we’re looking at our top 5 women in architecture to celebrate National Women’s equality Day.


1. Amanda Levete
Amanda Levete is founding principal of London-based architecture studio AL_A and the winner of the 2018 Jane Drew Prize for architects, who have furthered the progress of women in the industry.

2. Neri Oxman
Neri Oxman is an architect, designer and professor at the MIT Media Lab, where she founded and directs the Mediated Matter research group, which probes the relationship between the built, natural, and biological environments.

3. Denise Scott-Brown
Denise Scott-Brown is one of the most influential architects of the Twentieth Century, whose pioneering theories and designs led the Postmodern movement in architecture.

4. Farshid Moussavi
Farshid Moussavi, is principal of Farshid Moussavi Architecture and Professor in Practice of Architecture at Harvard University Graduate School of Design.

5. Shirley Blumberg
Shirley Blumberg is a founding partner of Toronto-based Canadian architecture firm KPMB Architects and co-founder of BEAT (Building Equality in Architecture Toronto)

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