Calls to attract and retain more women in ‘demanding profession’ of architecture
The “unacceptably low number” of women in South Africa’s demanding profession of architecture needs urgent attention if the current imbalance is to be addressed, according to architectural industry professionals.
At a recent South African Institute of Architects Eastern Cape (SAIA EC) meeting (in Port Elizabeth, August 5th), the provincial chapter of national voluntary body the South African Institute of Architects (SAIA) discussed the dire situation that sees just 21% of registered architects countrywide comprising of women.
“SAIA believes there is a lack of understanding with regards to women architects’ issues,” said SAIA EC president Neill Kievit, who addressed a Women in Architecture SA (WiASA) meeting last week.
The gender imbalance in the profession included “cultural through to historical challenges and the perception of women in society” he said, adding that WiASA aimed to:
Address access into the profession and the entry of black women;
Encourage educated, qualified and skilled women to remain in the profession;
Support women to build successful careers in architecture; and
Support the development of women-owned practices.
The WiASA programme was launched last year “to encourage, support, educate, develop and transform women in the profession, as well