NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Female Architects on the Rise

November 18, 2003

It's been over 20 years since women reached near parity in university architecture programs. But only now are female architects populating the professional ranks in greater numbers and taking on leadership roles at firms, according to new statistics.

  • The percentage of licensed architects who are women grew to 19.9 percent in 2002 from 13.7 percent in 1999, according to an American Institute of Architects study.
  • Those who are partners or principals of firms rose to 20.7 percent last year from 11.2 percent in 1999.
  • Women avoid the gender-insensitive layouts they live with everyday, such as kitchen cabinets being too high.
  • They also are in tune with users and understand that their comfort is of utmost importance.

However, getting in to the professional world, for men or for women, is still no small task. Architecture graduates, more often than not, end up in city-planning, academia or in consulting positions because it is a struggle to even make it through their three-year post-graduate internships, which offer low pay, long hours and are ruthlessly competitive.

Source: Alex Frangos, "More Women Design Their Way to the Top: Female Architects Take On Firm Leadership, Big Projects," Wall Street Journal, November 5, 2003.

For text (WSJ subscription required),,SB106799319035388800-search,00.html


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