“There is no difference between what males bring to architecture and what females bring to architecture.”
“Women bring a level of sensitivity to the human and emotional experience of architectural design.”
These two statements represent two opposite poles in the range of views that came up in the interviews with women architects, engineers, interior designers and urbanists we conducted for our annual Women’s Month feature.
We introduced the feature a few years ago to celebrate women in the profession, to air some of their views, to emphasise the value that women bring to the field and to remind everyone – at the risk of artificially isolating women as a group or category representing a particular type of architect – of both the progress the field has made, and what still has to be done as far as transformation is concerned.
It might be worth noting that most of the women featured in this year’s profiles, at some point said they think that women tend be more empathetic than men. It also needs to be said that many assert that women are still a minority on building sites, and, while most of the time they are treated with due respect, the work environment demands a level of assertiveness and insistence on their part that they are treated as equals – as if they need to prove themselves.