Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Women in Architecture: Assistants?

Today, I went to School S for another site visit.  While I do not have photos of the progress (I promise I will catch up), I did manage to get red clay all over my heels.  The principal wanted to show the contractors and the design team, after a big down pour, how removing the trailers from the site affected the grass and whether fixing the site was in the contractor's scope. 

I forgot today was an Owner-Architect-Contractor meeting and I decided to wear heels instead of my usual flats.  Bad decision on my part.
Other than another shoe fiasco at School S, I was introduced to another client that works for the city.  Then the worst happened: I was referred to as the "assistant."  I've been referred to as the "intern" before and I've let it go because:
  1. I'm not licensed but they still see me as someone who is working on the drawings.
  2. Some one's mistake does not affect my paycheck.
  3. Who cares.
Being referred to as an assistant makes it seem like they are looking at my gender and not my abilities as a designer.  This is not the first time this has happened, but it sucks that it's a constant thing with older clients. It seems to happen more when they see me with the Project Manager.  To encourage me, a close family friend told me: "It's not what they call you...It's what you respond to. That's what counts. No need to read this man your "pedigree" because if you weren't qualified, you wouldn't be with the company."

When I got back from the meeting, I decided to research women in Architecture.  I've known the statistics since I was in school and I was hoping since 2008 the statistics for women had risen. (it really didn't)

As of 2010, women made up 44% of Architecture graduates.  Out of the 104,301 registered Architects in 2011, only 21% of them are women and 283 are African-American.  Below are some facts about Women in Architecture.  Enjoy!

Women in Architecture – more at


  1. People are ridiculous. I'm sorry you have to deal with such sexism in your field.

    1. They really are. It's a horrible thing to go through when guys can't take you serious and ignore your suggestions and emails based on your gender.

      It just makes me push harder to get my license.


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