Smith: Business Case | Gender Equity

by Michael Smith, RAIA, The Red and Black Architect

For those working within the Australian architecture profession there is ongoing discontent about how poorly an architect’s input is valued and remunerated. When compared with engineers, construction managers and other professionals within the building industry, architects are most often the lowest paid by a long margin.

How can this great profession claw its way back from such a dire position? Many people have been looking at these issues from a variety of perspectives. While the issue is multifaceted in its causes and solutions, there is one area that could almost certainly produce substantial inroads within a relatively short time frame – diversity of the profession.

There are a great many reasons why our profession needs to address diversity and gender equity issues. Fundamental human rights and the Australian belief in ‘a fair go’ are good starting points, however, what is often not clearly communicated, is the good business sense and financial benefits of achieving meaningful diversity.

Strength in a diverse architectural team

Despite the prevalence of the idea of the ‘starchitect’ as master creator, the reality is that  architecture is much more like a team sport than an individual one. Like any team sport, relying too heavily on individuals within the team is a recipe for failure. The architecture profession has taken far too long to figure out how to properly build a team. (cont.)

Read Michael’s full paper: A03.02 The Business Case for Gender Equity