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Only 14% of UK architects are women, often in Grade 2 positions.
Reprinted below is a Press Release 23 November 2007, from Benfield ATT, our timber structure supplier.
'We Want Wonderful Women!'
Construction Professor Michael Benfield tells House Builders, Developers & Architects in Cardiff
'Don't put your daughters on the stage, Mrs Worthington - they have far better career prospects building new homes', an audience of house-builders, developers, architects and other professional advisers at the St David's Hotel, Cardiff was told this evening.
Linking the Government's drive to achieve sustainable 'zero-carbon' housing output by 2016 (2011 in Wales) with the growth of media studies and similar university courses, outspoken Professor Dr Michael Benfield claimed that :
'Across the UK the skills, talent and future prospects of thousands of young people, especially young women, are being wasted by not encouraging them to follow really meaningful, productive careers in construction.'
Although much of British industry has been lost, the upcoming changes required in building design, engineering, manufacture and construction are '… opening up fantastic career opportunities for generations to come', he stated. Predicting that more and more structures would be built 'Off-Site' in factories like his own, and merely assembled on site, he continued.
'We need the wonderful attributes possessed by many women - their mental agility, insights into home-making, ability to multi task, manage budgets, limit waste, eye for design, and so on.'
Considering political correctness to have gone too far, he called for Government Ministers to back 'Positive Discrimination' to get more women into the house-building and construction industry.
'As we move further toward 'white-coat' manufacturing environments and clean, waste free, assembly sites, I'm absolutely certain that they will find more job satisfaction and career fulfilment in this industry than in any other.' he said, adding that 'With increasingly severe shortages of surveyors, technicians, and engineers, as well as craft and trade skills being commonly acknowledged, we urgently need their extraordinary talents to help us deliver what government wants.'
With international environmental awareness increasingly recognising the need to limit consumption, reduce pollution, save energy and generally 'Save the Planet'¸ the Chartered Environmentalist Professor believes that women are uniquely qualified to make a major contribution to these efforts. Citing the Ambassador Programmes now being run by the Chartered Institute of Building and the Construction Industry Training Board to attract women into construction, he encouraged his audience to 'Lend a woman' to these initiatives. They will be trained by these organisations to go out to schools, colleges and universities to both 'Show & Tell' young women what a valuable and wonderful future construction holds for them.'
The Benfield ATT Group Castle Way, Caldicot, Monmouthshire NP26 5PR
There is also a campaign group run by Building Design, the Architects' website at www.bdonline.co.uk
The 50/50 Campaign
British architecture is missing 10,800 women. That is the number who would have to replace men in today's profession to create a 50/50 balance between the sexes. 86% of architects are men.
Building Design wants practices to take action to end the gender bias. Commit to our 50/50 charter to change working practices and help more women join and stay in architecture.
In the next three months we want 250 practices to sign up. Patricia Hewitt, Richard Rogers and the RIBA president George Ferguson have already pledged support. Join them.
Why sign up?
Help end inequality in architecture
Become a 50/50 practice and attract potential employees
Receive a personalised certificate to display in your office
Join the 50/50 Hall of Fame and see your practice's commitment celebrated in Building Design and online