Diversity news and events

RIBA Role Model Project


Fluid Diversity Mentoring Programme 2015

Applications are now being accepted to join the FLUID Diversity Mentoring Programme for 2015. This innovative scheme was developed by the RIBA's Architects for Change (AfC) group and the Construction Industry Council (CIC) to address the retention and development of talented practitioners from diverse backgrounds for management and leadership roles in the built environment.

The project has been developed in response to evidence gathered on diversity by CIC, AfC, Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE), the Government’s Fair Access to the Professions Report, the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s Race Discrimination in the Construction Industry Inquiry Report in addition to other reports.

The programme will recruit from a pan-professional group of participants who, via their applications, demonstrate the drive, ambition and enthusiasm to take part in the scheme.

The RIBA Role Models Project

The RIBA wants architecture to be an inclusive profession that offers rich possibilities for a wide range of talented individuals. The Role Model Project aims to: 

  • Draw attention to the range of achievements, backgrounds and experiences of its members

  • Demonstrate that there are different ways of succeeding within the profession

  • Provide evidence and encouragement to a diverse talent population that they can pursue a successful career in architecture

  • Pass on personal and professional insights, lessons and advice 

  • Inspire actual and potential members to pursue their ambitions and achieve their potential.

A digital publication will be launched in spring 2015 with quotes and insights from up to 30 role models. Twelve of these will be profiled in more detail with a photographic portrait and accompanying story about how they have been able to forge careers within architecture. In doing so, they will send a message to others who may share one or more aspects of their identity – such as gender, background, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation or education – that this could be a profession where they might thrive.

To coincide with International Women’s Day on 8 March 2015 the RIBA launched the #SeeMeJoinMe campaign to celebrate and support a more diverse and inclusive construction industry.

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Champion for the RIBA

Jane Duncan, RIBA President Elect, was appointed as RIBA Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Champion in early 2013. This role was been established to give senior support to the proactive work already delivered through Architects for Change, the RIBA's Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Forum.

Jane Duncan is leading programme of renewed activity to investigate the current causes of inequality in the architecture profession and explore best practice with other occupations. The programme for 2013/14 started in March with 'Architecture Out' - a discussion event with Stonewall about the experiences of being gay in architecture - and continue with the roll-out of the highly successful Fluid mentoring scheme for women in architecture.

The RIBA's 2013/14 Equality, Diversity & Inclusion programme will see the investment in a two year detailed project into the current causes, problems and remedies to inequality in architecture and the broader construction industry.

Jane Duncan, RIBA Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Champion, said:

'The barriers to true equality of access to and working within the profession have been sporadically documented over the last decade through research projects at the RIBA and by others within the industry, including the AJ's Women in Architecture surveys, but definitive research to understand the full picture is long overdue. I am delighted that the RIBA has committed to a more detailed programme of activity in 2013/14 that includes a wide-ranging investigation into the current hurdles to equality and diversity in the construction industry, including lessons from other professions.

Architecture needs to reflect and respond to society and our clients' needs. To ensure the success of our future, our profession needs to better understand the issues and their impact, take positive steps to drive out inequality, and ensure that we support, encourage and inspire the widest possible talent pool.'

Past events:

  • Talk: Perspectives on Architecture: Selwyn Goldsmith and the Architectural Model of Disability at the RIBA on Tuesday 18th November. Research Fellow, Dr Lesley McIntyre presented a retrospective investigation.

  • Freehold Event RIBA Sept 2014Freehold networking event. The RIBA hosted an evening reception for Freehold members on 23rd September. Freehold is the leading networking forum for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender professionals working within the real estate sector. The group allows co-professionals to share concerns and issues as well as to explore business opportunities in an informal environment.


  • Stephen Lawrence Memorial Lecture 2014. Tuesday 16th September at the RIBA. David Adjaye OBE, keynote speaker.

  • RIBA endorsed the Built Environment category for the Woman of Achievement Award for 2013. The RIBA encourages this celebration of women, paving the way for greater representation of women within our profession at senior levels. 

  • Diverse Cities. An event focusing on diversity and cities as part of the Construction Industry Councils’ 25th Anniversary celebrations. Keynote speaker: Sarah Wigglesworth MBE. 30 October. The Building Centre.

  • Fluid Diversity. Celebration of the first year of this mentoring programme and launch of the new phase. The RIBA 21 May 2013

  • Advance. Breakfast event looking at career progression and diversity for built environment professionals. Hosted by the CIC. The Building Centre 24 April 2013 

  • Out in Architecture. A discussion considering the experiences of being gay in architecture. In partnership with Stonewall - 19 March 2013

  • International Women's Day breakfast. Roca London Gallery in partnership with Women in Architecture (WIA) and the Architects’ Journal - 8 March 2013 

  • AfC were delighted to support The Bridge Group's Summer Reception on Social Mobility – 5 July 2012

  • Fluid Diversity Mentoring Programme launch in conjunction with Roca London Gallery – April 2012.

  • Women in Architecture (WIA) Hamburg – 15 June 2012 as part of Hamburger Architektur Sommers 2012 

  • RIBA Last Tuesdays - Power in London (April 2012) in conjunction with WIA

  • AfC were proud to support the CIC Diversity Panel Workshop called Constructive Women at IMECHE November 2011

  • WIA's Creating Change Event at the Building Centre, 2010 (For more information please see the press release and conference information

  • Diverscity Snowball


Join the Architects for Change network

'Architects for Change', the RIBA's equality and diversity forum has started a new social networking forum within Linked In Group to share information, thoughts and ideas. Join us!