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NSS: 2018 Australian Building Industry Contracts
7- 27 Feb

Gender Equity Initiatives

Champions of Change

The Male Champions of Change (MCC) strategy is a global coalition of men advocating for gender equality. The first MCC peer group began in 2010 with new groups forming across different organisations, sectors and geographies every year, including architecture.

The Architects Male Champions of Change mission is to step up beside women in architecture to achieve a significant and sustainable increase of women in leadership for the profession. Directors from nine large architectural firms have committed to advance gender equity in their practice and will continue to advocate for change in the architectural profession and industry. The program was established in March 2015 by the Institute’s NSW Chapter President Shaun Carter and the NSW Gender Equity Taskforce.

A video of the launch event, featuring founder of the Male Champions of Change initiative and former Australian Sex Discrimination Commissioner Liz Broderick, can be viewed here. The Architects Male Champions of Change also produced a short video to introduce the program, which you can watch here

Architects Male Champions of Change
• Joe Agius, COX • Troy Uleman, PTW 
• Shaun Carter, Carter Williamson • John Pradel, SJB Architects
• Brian Clohessy, BVN • Philip Vivian, Bates Smart
• Gerard Cocoran, HASSELL • John Prentice, Woods Bagot                  
• Niall Durney, CRONE  








The Architects Male Champions of Change has launched a Progress Report detailing their work to date. The report outlines their commitment to change, the process and actions they have taken, and progress measured. Shaun Carter – Architects Male Champions of Change and Immediate Past NSW President – provides an introduction to the report below. 

READ THE FULL REPORT: Architects Male Champions of Change Progress Report, November 2017


OUR CHALLENGE

Architecture, we all thought, was an inclusive industry. Our craft seemed like we were predisposed that way. Wrong. The Australian Research Council funded project into Equity and Diversity in Australian Architecture Profession: Women, Work, and Leadership published on the Parlour website smashed that belief. Architects and Architecture was among the most unequal professions in this country.

Even though the pipeline of talent into our profession became equal decades ago, the brutal forces of daily inequality ruined many careers and crushed many women’s ambition. Inequality that was obvious, deliberate and designed in, but also inequality that was unseen. The unconscious bias that society had taught us—all of us—was also working to keep women down.

Parlour revealed statistics that were shocking. How could a profession succeed and grow if it was structurally forcing almost half its talent out of the work place? Something had to change.

In March 2015 something did. The NSW Chapter of the Australian Institute of Architects, through the newly formed Gender Equity Taskforce (GET), launched the Architects Male Champions of Change foundation group -10 men who chose to step up beside women in their workplace.

We committed to actively intervene to halt inequality in its tracks, to call out prejudice where and when we saw it, and to be leaders by example to the profession. Our group comprises CEOs and Directors of our largest State, National and International Australian firms, covering over 2000 staff within the profession.

Our challenge is to constantly listen and learn from our mistakes. To recognise where we have let ourselves down and redouble our efforts not do it again. Our challenge in our workplaces is to continually stand up beside women through our actions and policy implementation until gender balance is achieved. To understand that you can’t be what you can’t see, and to make it visible to all. Our challenge is to not just lead in our workplaces but beyond. To help the profession to embrace gender equality. Our challenge is to show real leadership by example and by questioning the orthodoxy.

Our 2017 Architects Male Champions of Change Progress Report is our first progress report. It details the insight we have gathered from our Listening & Learning and the hard work we have ahead. It details our policies and their implementation. This progress report places a line in the sand from which we must move forward, each and every year. We invite you to watch, to notice and to be critical of our journey if we fall behind.

Our challenge, as it is the profession’s challenge, is to succeed in addressing gender inequality, so that women can take their rightful place alongside men. Gender equality in architecture will mean a more successful, balanced, insightful, caring, family orientated and profitable workplace. Our challenge is to make this happen.

Shaun Carter
Architects Male Champions of Change
Immediate Past NSW President, Australian Institute of Architects



Gender Equity Taskforce

The NSW Gender Equity Taskforce (GET) was established in 2012 to support the implementation of gender equity within the NSW Chapter of the Institute. A taskforce branch of NSW Chapter Council, the committee comprises Institute members of various ages and gender from a range of practice size, academia, government and development.

Alongside developing policy and promoting best practice within the profession, GET continue to initiate a range of events and programs including: 

  • International Women’s Day Breakfast: an annual event providing a platform for recipients of the Marion Mahony Griffin Prize for women in architecture to share their professional experiences and insight
  • Architects Male Champions of Change programAdvocating for gender equality in practice
  • GET TogetherFostering new connections, providing insights and practical advice for working parents and carers.
  • GET Talking: Providing practical insights and advice on implementing equity initiatives in practice.
  • Participate: A 2017 National Conference workshop for a collective agenda for the future of gender equity advocacy in collaboration with Parlour

 NSW Gender Equity Taskforce Members:

• Natalie Lane-Rose, Citta (Co-Chair)  
• Monica Edwards, SJB (Co-Chair)
• Samyuktha Pillai, HASSELL
• Shaun Carter, Carter Williamson Architects
• Maryam Gusheh, UNSW • David Tickle, HASSELL
• Callantha Brigham, Paramatta City Council
• Chris Major, Welsh + Major Architects
   (National Committee for Gender Equity)