IMPORTANT Website terms of use and cookie statement
Illustration by Leyla Reynolds for Dezeen
Talks and lectures

Must do better: improving gender diversity in architecture

Join us as we celebrate International Women’s Day with an evening focused on improving gender diversity in architecture practices.

Join us as we celebrate International Women’s Day with an evening focused on improving gender diversity in architecture practices, particularly at senior level. This event is 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.

Only three of the World Architecture 100 companies surveyed are headed by a woman, all three of these firms are Scandinavian: Tengbom and White Arkitekter of Sweden, and Henning Larsen of Denmark. We are delighted to have Alexandra Hagen CEO, White Arkitekter join us 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 will be sharing how they are improving gender diversity at senior levels.

With exception to a few practices, the industry isn’t doing enough to address the gender imbalance in architecture so we are also looking beyond the profession for business exemplars who have succeeded in promoting women to senior levels. Dr Sundiatu Dixon-Fyle, the Global Client Development Lead, Inclusion and Diversity at McKinsey & Company will present research on the link between diversity and financial performance, and how McKinsey engages with clients across sectors (banking, healthcare, mining, construction and the non-profit sector) on the business case for inclusion and diversity.

Presentations will be followed by a facilitated workshop session where groups will address issues around good practice and share 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.

Over the evening we aim to:

  • Put a business case forward as to why gender diversity is good for productivity and profitability
  • Review current succession and career development plans
  • Put forward practical examples and takeaways of how practices can integrate gender equality as a key part of their business strategy and improve gender diversity at senior levels

The evening will end with a brief panel discussion chaired by Marcus Fairs, founder and editor-in-chief of Dezeen, followed by networking drinks. We would like to ensure there is an even gender balance in the attendees where male counterparts are actively engaging in the evening so please do invite your male colleagues to come along too!

Sponsor: Zumtobel

Supported by: Colt International

Champagne supporter: Taittinger