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30 VIEWS


Giving women more coverage and creating role models, helps encourage more women to enter the profession and hopefully to stay in the profession Angela Dapper, Denton Corker Marshall


Angela: Studies have shown that diversity increases creativity and productivity.


It’s


not about female architects, but about the strengths resulting from the creation of an inclusive environment. Fionn:Women tend to have a way of working, for a variety of reasons, which is more relational and less


individualistic. This is great for teamwork and good communication. Denise: I think it more that there is massive benefit to be gained for the profession, and society, if architects are drawn from a more eclectic mix in terms of gender and background. Sadie:We take the person best suited for the job, and we have more women than men in our business which tells its own story. Women bring a perspective of 50 per cent of the population, we tend to be empathetic and good at conflict resolution, and look at things in the round. That’s not to say there aren’t plenty of men who do that, and that there aren’t plenty of single-minded women!


WHAT ARE THE REMAINING CHALLENGES FOR THE PROFESSION ON GENDER DIVERSITY? Jane: To normalise a situation where everyone who is working within the profession is supported, challenged and welcomed. Fionn: The key challenge is to convince people that gender diversity is still an issue – many believe we have overcome all the


problems, but the pay gap between men and women is actually increasing in the UK on average. Angela: The change to create a healthy work/life balance and supportive environment for all will not only help with retaining women in the profession, but with improving diversity and inclusion. People think this is a women’s issue, but the solutions to gender equality are beneficial for everyone’s health and wellbeing. Denise: The gender ratio has improved and at an accelerating speed, but much needs to be done on addressing wider diversity issues. A key ongoing challenge is to ensure that the improvements made are not hampered by economic issues which preclude training and retention of talented architects from the widest range of backgrounds. Sadie: There is still a gender pay gap, and we just need to do our best to be sensible and promote women without feeling like they are second class citizens and need help. We have all the ability and more, we just need to make sure everyone has the same opportunities.


WWW.ARCHITECTSDATAFILE.CO.UK


ADF SEPTEMBER 2018


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