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Caven, V and Diop, M (2011) Women and equality in architecture: An Anglo-French comparative study. In: Egbu, C and Lou, E C W (Eds.), Proceedings 27th Annual ARCOM Conference, 5-7 September 2011, Bristol, UK. Association of Researchers in Construction Management, 217–26.
- Type: Conference Proceedings
- Keywords: architecture; equality; France; UK; women
- ISBN/ISSN: 978-0-9552390-5-2
- URL: http://www.arcom.ac.uk/-docs/proceedings/ar2011-0217-0226_Caven_Diop.pdf
Architecture in the UK and France has very different sociological and cultural origins resulting in variances in how work is organised. Workplace roles of women also show marked distinctions in terms of equality. The aim of this paper is to examine the quest for equality in architecture for women in both countries reporting the findings of an Anglo-French comparative study in to architects careers. In particular initiatives aiming to encourage more women in to the profession are explored with regard to their effectiveness. Using an interpretive and comparative approach within the qualitative paradigm, semi-structured in-depth interviews were carried out with a total of 48 women architects in the East Midlands (in the UK) and the Charente-Maritime (in France). All were asked about their careers in architecture, what had attracted them to the profession and their experiences of working in a male-dominated environment. Findings indicate surprising differences in levels of equality for women in the two countries and marked differences in women s experiences of working as an architect. Women have come to the profession in France much later than their British counterparts but are present in greater numbers and, on average, earn more than their male colleagues. The paper identifies and discusses the differences in working practices and identifies other factors which may help to explain this anomaly.