Julie Stewart and Stephen McDougall at Studio Pacific Architecture look back on what they’ve changed during 12 months as a Founding Partner. And they ask why more architects aren’t on board.
The Diversity Agenda has given us momentum to move beyond our individual practices and become part of a wider shared conversation about workplace diversity and inclusion. Now, we have a platform to improve the under-representation of women in architecture. We can move beyond staff policy, beyond the basics of meeting legislative requirements and into a more meaningful shift to genuine equitable practice.
The Diversity Agenda provides a point for all of us to gather around and to move forward from together.
This past year, Studio Pacific has taken steps towards figuring out where we are by measuring our own degree of gender balance. This will be the benchmark for moving forward. We have looked at the gender balance of our staff across the board from promotion and pay, to leavers and recruitment. Up to now, we might have had a hunch about how we were doing, but now, we have facts. This benchmarking process has shed a light on the good, the bad and the ugly and there is plenty of work to do going forward.
But data can only get us so far. At some point, we need to action what we value and create a practice that represents our community. Now that we are bringing the question of diversity out in the open, our tolerance for certain behaviours needs to be addressed. We need to all be on the same page to create the climate in which genuine diversity can flourish.
“We have had more conversations about diversity than ever before, and while they are challenging, they are also becoming normalised and recognised as vital.
The Diversity Agenda ensures we are not speaking alone. We are supported by their educational programmes, their work towards raising awareness and their encouragement to share our stories.
At Studio Pacific, we continue to participate in implicit bias training workshops to help us move from awareness to action. Together, we have committed to raising awareness, using humour, being persistent and continuing the conversation about diversity and inclusion to help us un-bias. This is a long term project for us. We will continue to speak up for one another.
We are more aware than we were last year. We have made new connections and found new resources. We look to broaden the conversation and engage diversity and inclusion in every aspect of our work. When something does not go well, we look for a better way forward for next time.
“However, where are the other architects? It’s embarrassing and disappointing to see an absence of architects at Diversity Agenda events and workshops.
There may be, and we hope there are, strong internal conversations within other architecture practices, which we believe is vitally important. However, The Diversity Agenda provides a forum for the sharing of ideas, knowledge and initiatives to ensure that change is made.
We believe that there is power in wider engagement and conversations.
We look forward to the continued engagement with The Diversity Agenda and seeing real changes in the coming year and a reminder that 2021 is not that far away. #20for2021.
Feeling empowered and want your organisation to become a member of the Diversity Agenda? Get in touch to help bring positive change to our industries — we’d love to have you onboard.