Improving gender diversity in architecture

Zumtobel is part of International Women's Day 2018

Only three of the World Architecture 100 companies surveyed are headed by a woman. To improve gender diversity in architecture, Zumtobel supported the event of RIBA and Dezeen on the occasion of International Women's Day.

Must do better: improving gender diversity in architecture International Women's Day
"Must do better: improving gender diversity in architecture" was an evening focused on improving gender diversity in architecture practices.

Gender diversity is a present issue. With exception to a few practices, the industry isn’t doing enough to address the gender inequality in architecture. Women lead only three of the world's 100 biggest architecture firms. Only Tengbom and White Arkitekter of Sweden, and Henning Larsen of Denmark are headed by a woman.

For this reason the Royal Institute of British Architects RIBA celebrated International Women’s Day with an evening focused on improving gender diversity in architecture practices, particularly at senior level. This event was in collaboration with Dezeen, who recently published a survey revealing the astonishing lack of gender diversity at senior levels in the world's 100 biggest architecture firms.

Because Zumtobel is cooperating with many architects, it was a major issue of the lighting brand to support this event and be part of the discussion about improving gender diversity in architecture.

Must do better: improving gender diversity in architecture International Women's Day
A lot of interested people came to the event. © RIBA

Speaker of the event

  • Alexandra Hagen CEO, White Arkitekter joined to discuss to how White Arkitekter have successfully created an inclusive workplace
  • Helen Taylor, Director of Practice at Scott Brownrigg, a RIBA Practice Role Model shared how they are improving gender diversity at senior levels
  • Dr. Sundiatu Dixon-Fyle, the Global Client Development Lead, Inclusion and Diversity at McKinsey & Company presented research on the link between diversity and financial performance, and how McKinsey engages with clients across sectors on the business case for inclusion and diversity

The presentations followed by a facilitated workshop session where groups addressed issues around good practice and shared ideas and suggestions as to how they can effectively improve gender diversity within their practices. Facilitators include Elsie Owusu; Katy Ghahremani, Make Architects; Caroline Buckingham and Lorraine Robertson, HLM Architects; Sarah Eastham, Pollard Thomas Edwards architects and Jane Duncan. The evening ended up with a brief panel discussion chaired by Marcus Fairs, founder and editor-in-chief of Dezeen.