Magazine / 2nd Quarter 2021

Women in Architecture

Dear FuturArc Readers, Much has been said of the challenges that women face in the workplace, how a female point of view is often lacking in the boardroom. But how are these manifested in the field of design? In the realm of sustainability, in particular, is there a woman’s perspective at the drawing board? In this issue, we talked to 10 women in architecture, urbanism and landscape design, from Pakistan to Sri Lanka, Taiwan to Singapore. What they share confirmed some of the issues reported elsewhere. Women deal with the proverbial glass ceiling; they struggle with clashing career and family demands. There can be biases in the office, on project sites and in client meetings. Some counter, however, that this is often tempered by social class: if a woman comes to the world of design from a background of wealth or privilege, the discrimination she encounters can be assuaged, but it does not go away entirely. The vantage point that a woman brings to sustainability is harder to pin down: a female worldview is not apparent, they say, in deciding which strategies or technologies are adopted, or how a building looks. But it can alter how things are done: who is invited to...

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