Why You Should Become A Fellow of Australian Institute of Architects

_Q1P0393This is a call out to experienced female architects in Western Australia. I want you to lodge an application to become a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Architects.

I’ve just become a Fellow and I think more women would do it if they understood what was involved.

There’s only seven female Fellows in AIA, the Australian Institutes of Architects, WA Chapter.
There’s 121 men. I’d like to see that change to more accurately reflect the numbers of women working in our industry.

The procedure to become a Fellow is based on continuous membership and practice.
You’ll also need to present to the Chapter Counsel. It’s not that onerous. I wrote a two page summary of my experience.

There are other women out there who would qualify for this accreditation. I think it’s worth doing because it signifies your years of experience in the industry. To your peers and your clients it is an indication of higher professional status.

I think a lot of women believe that you need to be nominated to become a Fellow. I certainly thought that. It was a surprise to discover that I could nominate myself and qualify.

So if you’re a experienced female architect or you know someone who is, please explore this option and act on it. Professional bodies are made so much stronger when their membership is reflective of those who are working in the field.

There’s no doubt that there are fewer women in senior positions in architecture. Fifty-five percent of architect graduates are women, and there’s a good percentage of them that are the top of the class. But by the age of fifty, only about twenty percent are still working as registered architects.

I’m interested in taking a close look at why women leave architecture. How is it possible for them to maintain professional membership when they are raising their families? How can they be encouraged to apply for the higher levels of professional accreditation that reflect their experience? These are the things we need to work on.

So here’s my call to the 20% of senior women architects. Please step forward and nominate yourself for the levels of professional accreditation that you qualify for. This is an important step in creating a more balanced and inclusive profession. It ultimately makes architecture a stronger and more sustainable practice. We will all benefit from that.