Dallas Morning News Architecture Critic Mark Lamster found some reason to be optimistic that a panel about the failure of architecture to promote and retain women attracted a standing-room-only crowd recently in Dallas. But there are plenty of numbers to suggest thet field has a distressingly long way to go to achieve equity. "Although 50 percent of today’s architectural students are female, only 19 percent of licensed architects are women. The statistics have improved over time (in 1994, the number was 11 percent), but not at anything close to an acceptable rate. In Dallas, only 9 of 130 Fellows of the American Institute of Architects ('Fellow' being the highest professional designation) are female." Lamster doesn't mince words when producing his assessment of those realities. "That’s abysmal," he writes.
Another reason to be optimistic is that for as long as architecture has shit out women, the field has suffered because of it. If the field were to be more equitable, we all stand to benefit. As stated by Lamster: "One can’t help but wonder: How different would our cities be if the architectural profession was more equitable? Frankly, we shouldn’t have to wonder. It’s time to find out."