Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Why are there so few women architects?
Women have made great strides in the fields of law and medicine. About 26 percent of all practicing physicians are female (Source: Women's Physicians Congress of the American Medical Association). About 30 percent of all lawyers are women. (Source: A Current Glance at Women in the Law, 2007, American Bar Association). However, the New York Times reports that just 13 percent of AIA members nationwide are women.

It's such a low percentage that a headline writer at the Times titled Nicolai Ouroussoff's article, "Keeping Houses, Not Building Them." After listening to a discussion on the subject at the Museum of Modern Art, Ouroussoff concluded, "Sadly, there is little reason to expect the situation to improve anytime soon. The overwhelming financial and time pressures for architects haven’t changed much, nor has the chauvinism that women must navigate, from the developer’s office to the construction site. Despite its image as a bastion of progressivism, architecture is a profession in which the glass ceiling has yet to be scratched, must less shattered."

What do you think? How are women architects in Minnesota faring? Do you agree with Ouroussoff's conclusions? How much discrimination do women face in Minnesota architecture?


betadinesutures said...

I think perhaps reframing the question in another way might be beneficial. The fact that only 13% of the members of the AIA are women, does not necessarily mean that 13% of architects are women, joining the AIA is not a requirement to be an architect. The question should be posed to the membership of the AIA; why are women architects not joining the AIA? Then again you could also ask where is the AIA in minority representation as a whole?

Todd Melby said...

Thanks for the comment. And a valid point about AIA membership. I'd be intestered in hearing from other readers about sexism (or lack of sexism) in the profession. Do you personally encounter it? Or are we living in a post-sexist world?