While in a lot of countries around the world, the construction, architecture, engineering, and urban planning sectors, are still reserved for men, initiatives that empower women in these fields are surfacing everywhere around the globe. Playing a huge role in the integration of female power into these disciplines, these movements take on many forms such as organizations, websites, platforms, etc. working with professionals, artisans, and workers.
From providing skills, connecting outstanding females, ensuring exposure, and promoting the works of pioneers, these initiatives have the common purpose of encouraging women to have an impact on their built environment.
In order to learn more about these platforms, ArchDaily has gathered in this article 8 different programs that empower women in the architectural and construction sectors.
400 Forward is an initiative that seeks, inspires, and mentors the next generation of women designers. Named in light of the licensing of the 400th African American woman architect in 2017, the program aims to familiarize young girls with architecture, giving them tools to address social injustice issues. Founded by Tiffany Brown, 400 Forward also provides scholarships and tuitions for study material and licensing exams for African American women in architecture.
Warchée is an organization that has the purpose of integrating women into the construction field. Born from the observation that in a rapidly urbanizing world, particularly in the Middle East, women are still excluded from certain professions, the NGO, founded by Anastasia Elrouss, aims to create an all-inclusive and evolving world. Aiming to have a presence in every country where women in the construction field are marginalized, Warchée, the first organization of its kind in the Middle, provides females with the right tools and skills to be able to find a job in this sector and have an impact on their city.
The project Architecture in the Periphery is the result of a master's thesis by architect Carina Guedes. It has been running since 2014, offering technical assistance courses to women in territories with insufficient housing and infrastructure, such as peripheral communities and occupations. The project is structured in workshops that last from four to six months and begin with drawing and sketching classes.
Rebelarchitette has created an interactive public world map showcasing 732 outstanding women architects from all over the world. Released 2 years after the launch of their e-book Architette=Women Architects, the WAW Map is an open, collaborative constantly updated platform. Going beyond the #timefor50 #timeforequality campaign, advocating for equal participation of men and women in the public face of architecture, the new platform encourages collaboration versus competition and richness in diversity.
Pioneering Women of American Architecture is a website launched by The Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation, seeking to promote and document important women in architecture. It is the end result of numerous house conducting interviews, collecting research and photo documentation, as well as fact-checking. Since 2012, Beverly Willis and Wanda Bubriski have been working towards bringing to light the complete works of women architects in America.
MMW is an online platform dedicated to architectural representations, whose objective is to spread women's production within our professional field. Created by the Brazilian architects Carol Vasques and Débora Boniatti as a reaction to the still scarce diffusion of female references, the platform seeks to "highlight the importance and relevance of women in the past, present and future of the profession."
HerCity is a platform that involves women in urban development, in order to make better cities for everyone. Turning the tables and putting girls in the expert position, the digital toolbox aims to create more inclusive, equal, and sustainable cities and communities. The initiative makes methods and tools available to urban actors globally, in order to support cities in integrating girls’ participation in their long-term strategies.
The Flanders Architecture Institute has been working to bring “women who have left their mark on Belgium's design heritage out of the shadows”, through Wiki Women Design. Using Wikipedia as a platform, the initiative aims to organize edit-a-thons or writing sessions, to make up for this backlog.
Editor's Note: This article was originally published on the 10th of August 2020, and updated on the 11th of March 2021.