March 27, 2009

Robert Stern Explains Why There Are So Many Male Architects

It's because architecture as a profession is very demanding and involves much international travel. Also, because men don't have to worry about having a family or taking care of them or spending much time with them.

Thank you, Dean of Yale Architecture School! With age comes great wisdom or something!

Oh, wait, what was the question again? Why are there so few women architects? [archdaily via c-monster]


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Yeah that . . . or maybe because neanderthals are running major architecture schools.

Yeah, because being a lawyer or a doctor isn't demanding at all....

"Also, because men don't have to worry about having a family or taking care of them or spending much time with them."

It doesn't surprise me, though. There is a certain generation of old dudes who lived that way and moms stayed home and did 99% of everything. That's why his comments don't surprise me!

as a mom/former architect i wish i could disagree with him.

hate to say it, but i can't disagree with him, either.

i know an architect who didn't take any time off during the semester that she had a baby. this tenacity, of course, is admired as proving she's more badass than the male architects.

in terms of the hours you put in compared to earnings or ability to gain some amount of prominence in the field, it's a thankless profession. so yeah, choosing to become a mother will most likely hurt your prospects, even more so than in academia, law, or medicine.

it isn't just architecture school (which is grueling), it's the entire culture. a lot is going to have to change before it is able to accommodate families.

I'm sorry, but that is true of a whole host of industries, and it's all predicated on either a) a man not wanting a family or caring too much about seeing his family if he gets one, or b) a man relying on a woman who chooses to support his career at the expense of hers by raising their kids herself.

Pregnancy is what it is, but if you switch the statement around--"so yeah, choosing to become a father will most likely hurt your prospects"--and it sounds insane, then there's a systemic problem that affects men *and* women. And looking at it just as a women's issue may never solve it. Of course, a prolonged depression could solve it for everyone by starving 80% of architects out of the field anyway, so maybe it's moot.

all good points, but i still think that there are other professions that are less anti-family than architecture.

the architecture school at my university consists of about 50% women. my PhD program is nearly all female. and yet, most architects (particularly well-known) and tenured professors (art history) are male. and before them? male. i hope things will change as these students become the ones hiring and making policy changes.

Go ahead and give me more rare examples to show how few women are architects compared to men. I like that. It turns me on.

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