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There has been much discussion raised about "Why are women leaving Architecture? and more broadly, Why is the profession losing key talent?"  Both women and men practitioners are disillusioned by the myth of work/life balance: Women are grappling with "have it all" expectations of juggling family time with the demands of full-time work.  Men are struggling to support their families solely on an architect's salary and fall back on asking spouses to maintain their jobs. The lack of affordable childcare and high cost of living only magnifies the challenges.  How did we end up in this modern family dilemma? What can we do to improve the situation?

Gender Equity Policy: What we can learn from the Aussies and Brits.

Last week on December 5th, a major breakthrough for gender equity in the profession of architecture was made with the Australian Institute of Architects’ National Council officially approving the organization’s first Gender Equity Policy

The policy establishes ten best practice principles designed to maximize fair and equitable access to opportunities and participation for women within the architecture profession.

The development of the policy follows the Australian Institute’s involvement since 2011 with the Australian Research Council funded Equity and Diversity in the Australian Architecture Profession: Women, Work and Leadership project, which is led by a large collaborative team of eight scholars and five industry partners.

Studies conducted as part of this project have provided qualitative evidence confirming that the participation rate of women in the profession is disproportionately low compared to the number of women graduates in architecture highlighting the specific need to encourage and provide guidelines for the industry to adopt a comprehensive and ethical approach to establishing gender equality across the field.

‘As careers progress, the barriers for women increase, as evidenced by lower numbers in senior positions and higher attrition rates and the need for part time or flexible work hours when juggling career and parenthood affects women most heavily. This policy will go a long way in readdressing these imbalances.’

Paul Berkemeier, President of Australian Institute of Architects

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