What does it mean when women are equally represented in the classroom, but not on the job?

Architecture is experiencing this phenomenon. Somewhere between getting their degrees and getting their licenses, nearly 32 percent of women graduates leave the architecture field. According to the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA), in 2014 nearly 50 percent of students seeking degrees in architecture were women, but women accounted for only 18 percent of licensed American Institute of Architecture members. This gender imbalance affects not only women, but the profession as a whole and the global community that is impacted by human design, construction and planning.

To address this issue, DCP will host its first ever “Celebrating Women in Architecture” lecture series, highlighting achievements by renowned women architects and celebrating female leadership in the field.

The series aims to increase the visibility of women in design and to raise awareness about gender issues in the architectural practice, while discussing incredible work created by female architects. Additionally, we hope to give students ways to positively address issues of gender imbalance and to encourage innovative perspectives on the future of architecture. Featured speakers will include Kathryn Dean, principal of Dean/Wolf Architects of New York City, Jamie Maslyn Larson, principal of West 8 in New York City and Sanda Iliescu, artist and associate professor of Studio Design at the University of Virginia.

UF Professors Sherry Ahrentzen (DCP) and Trysh Travis (CLAS) will kick off the lecture series with an opening talk and reception from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. on September 10. The series will continue with talks by Kathryn Dean on September 21, by Jamie Maslyn Larson on October 12 and by Sanda Iliescu on October 19. Professors Ahrentzen and Travis will host a “bookend” talk looking back at the series and the issues it raised on Friday, November 13.

The series is sponsored by the Architecture Department, DCP, the Center for Women’s Studies and Gender Research, as well as the following UF student organizations: the American Institute of Architecture Students, the National Organization of Minority Students and the National Association of Women in Construction.

All events will take place at the UF School of Architecture Gallery, located at 1480 Inner Road. The series is free and open to the public. For more information on the series, visit dcp.ufl.edu/architecture.

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