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RIBA Chief Executive reflects

Women's History Month: Tackling gender inequity in architecture and beyond

To mark Women's History Month, Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Chief Executive Dr Valerie Vaughan-Dick MBE reflects on progress in tackling gender inequity in architecture and beyond. 'In just over a year as Chief Executive of RIBA, I have seen the organisation take great strides in addressing inequalities. In fact, its commitment to inclusion and diversity is one of the things that attracted me to the role – for me, equity cannot be compromised,' Valerie says.

In January 2024, the Chief Executive welcomed guests to an event about addressing gender inequity in the built environment. 'The day provided a great opportunity to gain thought-provoking insight from a diverse group of women working across the built environment. The speakers generously shared their expertise and lived experience, discussing the female perspective of professions from architecture to structural engineering.'

RIBA Chief Executive Dr Valerie Vaughan-Dick MBE welcomes participants to 66 Portland Place in London (Credit: RIBA)

'I found it enlightening to hear about what is really happening on the ground in our sector. During talks and panel discussions, the speakers covered topics including reproductive rights in the workplace, how women are treated in a male-dominated space, misogyny, racism, pinkwashing, and how management and workplace culture needs to change.'

RIBA's Business Benchmarking 2023 report, which tracks business trends across UK architecture practices, found that the gender balance among architects is slowly improving. But the Architects Registration Board (ARB)'s latest findings show that only 31% of architects are women – so the profession still doesn't represent the society that it serves.

Watch the full recording of the event here.

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