Successful Female Architects- Facing Challenges– Still Excelling High.

Despite The Troubles in The Domain!

The Super-Success Chronicles of Women Architects, these days and the Challenges that Women are facing in this field of Architecture -both go side by side – I would say. Women architects facing challenges – and still excelling high !!!

After the dignifying ingress of women in the field of architecture; in the year 1879; women have shaped exclusive chronicles of their success, in this domain. But still, even today, she has to face the troubles that men don’t have to! Discrimination is still lying here, as stubbornly as it dwells in the psyche of the people!

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The famous and awarded Danish architect Dorte Mandrup once said about the feminism in Architecture, “Are we not long overdue a mind shift allowing men and women to work – and compete – within the same parameters?”

Dorte Mandrup has been opposing strongly to applaud for the female architects merely because they are ‘females’. As she always insist that if we are applauding for someone it’s because of his / her excellence in the work and not because she is a woman and she still excel!!! “After all I am an architect! Not a FEMALE architect,” she reacts aguishly.

Dorte Mandrup is the founder and creative director of Dorte Mandrup Arkitekter in Copenhagen. She has 25 years of professional experience and a line of internationally applauded iconic buildings to her name. Among other professional appointments, Dorte Mandrup is a board member at Louisiana Museum of Modern Art and since 2011 an appointed member of the Historic Buildings Council.

                 Despite the fact that there is a gender discrimination in this orbit also; like we have in so many other arenas on this planet; she explains that by applauding for female architects by saying them ‘ females ’ we again take a step towards discrimination. Why can’t we just give awards to the female architects by accosting them ‘ Best Architects ’ !!!
Women have been trying to secure a footing in architecture for more than 130 years now. In 1879, Mary Louisa Page became the first woman in North America to graduate with an architecture degree.

Since decades women are doing excellent in architecture but still when we ask even the famous architects of the world like Heather Dubbeldam, Camille Mitchell, Brigitte Shim and Megan Torza, they reveal what are those special problems they are facing being a female, in this domain :

# Unequal pay:

They reveal that female architects still earn less than equivalent male architects! The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says female architects earn 20% less than male architects. Nearly 50 per cent of women report that women were less likely to be paid the same as men for the same role.

# Less Likely To Get Promotions:

Half of all the female respondents in the Annual International Women in Architecture (WIA) Survey said that women were less likely to be promoted to senior positions within the profession.

# Uncomfortable Working Hours:

Women are being driven out and holding back from careers in architecture because of the demanded long hours and childcare. “Women are given fewer career-building opportunities and lacking mentors.” , says Mitchell, “female architects leave the field in disturbingly high number”, she added.

# Lack of the Role-Models :

Megan Torza says , “ Women architects leave the profession in lack of the Role-Models, too. I have noticed it.” So, besides the working patterns, discrimination, less pay and career opportunities women also loose the battle in lack of the encouragement senior women architects can emerge to the new-comers !

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The fifth Annual International Women in Architecture (WIA) Survey, found that one in five women architect say that she would not encourage another woman to start a career in architecture, unless the situation at workplaces change !

                       Out of the 1,152 women architects surveyed worldwide in this survey , 72 per cent said they have experienced sexual discrimination, harassment or bullying within architecture. Nearly 80 per cent of the female respondents also stated that having a child was a remarkable disadvantage for the women pursuing careers in architecture.

                       Raising the profile of women architects within architecture, so many super intelligent women have established example in front of the world, by winning the famous awards worldwide. French female architect Odile Decq won Jane Drew prize 2016, a few years back Zaha Hadid also became the first woman architect to receive the Royal Institute of British Architects’ Royal Gold Medal, 2011, with all her dignity. RIBA president Jane Duncan said on this occasion that the organization is actually acting “to right a 180-year wrong”.

             The feminist architect Zaha Hadid told once, “Women are always told, ‘You are not going to make it, it’s so difficult, you will never win it,’ – come on, they need confidence and courage! ”
           

Some of the famous Women Architects who have broken the stereotype.

Amanda Levete,UK :

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Amanda Levete, the founder and principal of ALA – an international award-winning design and architecture studio- is a RIBA Stirling Prize winning architect. ALA is stunningly popular to design the intuitive envisions ,restless research, innovation-collaboration-attention to details — her designs just wins heart of millions.

Brinda Somaya, India.

Brinda is a famous and International awards winning Indian female architect . Brinda achieved her Bachelor of Architecture degree from Mumbai University and done Master of Arts from Smith College in Northampton, USA and initiated her practice in 1978, in Mumbai.

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She has won numerous international and national awards. Brinda Somaya won the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage award in 2004 , for the restoration of the St.Thomas’ Cathedral in Mumbai. She is also a Leading European Architects Forum award winner in 2006, for the new Nalanda Schools Campus in Baroda.

She was the first woman to have won the Wienerberger Golden Architect Award for lifetime achievement – a peer award, in 2007. In 2008 a mention was awarded to Brinda Somaya by the UIA (International Union of Architects) Sgoutas Prize for alleviation of poverty for her Bhuj Village. Project.

 

Zaha Hadid, Iraq :

 

Zaha Hadid: Born in Baghdad, Iraq in 1950. In 2004, became the first woman to win a Pritzker Architecture Prize! Her work experiments with new spatial concepts and encompasses smart designs, ranging from urban spaces to products and furniture .

                      The future of female architects is golden, what the people who love their daughters need is to incorporate the confidence of doing something great in their soul and let them dream. After all despite of all the troubles they are facing they are outpouring in right direction and in a right proportion – They are winning. Undoubtedly.

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