by Rhys Phillips
Originally published: January 12, 2017
The state of diversity in the profession has been under increasing scrutiny both inside and outside of Canada.
“Because it’s 2015” is, of course, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s much-reported retort to a journalist who questioned his first cabinet’s gender parity. In October of that year, the Ontario Association of Architects initiated a Women in Architecture series on its blog, 23 years after the organization first formed a Women in Architecture Task Force.
The state of diversity in the profession has been under increasing scrutiny both inside and outside of Canada. Despina Stratigakos’ recently published book, Where Are the Women Architects?, summarizes American and British research identifying barriers women continue to face as practicing architects, before cautiously positing evidence of an emerging “ third wave” of feminism in architecture. The latter, she writes, challenges almost 20 years of equity stagnation in the profession that followed significant advances from the 1970s to the 1990s.
While much less research has been undertaken in Canada, voices such as Vancouver’s Women in Architecture group are responding to strong anecdotal evidence that advances in gender equality in education are not being consistently transferred to professional practice. How should the profession respond to ensure more timely progress?