Seminar 01: Making Spaces for Women. Dreamspace Gallery & the Adrem Group recently hosted the first of a series of breakfast seminars focused on Working Mothers in the Design industry.
The seminar interrogated why the numbers of mothers returning to work in the architecture and design professions were so low, and what practices can do to improve these statistics.
Panelists included Angela Brady, the up-coming RIBA President, John Assael & Felicie Krikler (AssaelArchitecture), Virginia Newman (KSR Architects) & Delwar Hossain (Adrem) who presented to a small group of industry professionals.
The presentations began with an outline of the ‘Life Cycle of an Architect’ which noted that the initial 50% ratio of male:female architects (at university) dwindled to 25% when the family-factor kicked in, then dropped even further to 10% during what should be the peak of an architects career.
John Assael presented the policies his practice implements to facilitate a work-life balance for their employees with young families, and Felicie Krikler, an Associate at Assael, followed suit with her winning formula as a mother who has successfully returned back to work each time after having 3 children.
Other points of interest looked at the strategy and process of taking a career break, particularly relevant in terms of what RIBA require from their members in order to maintain their accreditation.
A lively discussion then followed between the panelists and the attendees which recounted individual experiences, current practice policies relating to maternity leave, and debated why the architectural profession was one of the few professions that had such a low-level of returning mothers and the factors that supported this.
The seminar was an important one that highlighted the challenges women face when returning to their career after a maternity break.
Seminar 02 in the series is planned for the autumn and will explore ways in which job sharing and interims might enable practices maintain a better gender balance & retain their best talent.
To find out more please get in touch.