Although 42pc of architectural students who qualified ten years ago were women, only 16pc of women are currently registered as working in the profession here. Where are the others? Ireland has a smaller number of architects per head of population than any other EU member nation bar one (Austria). Currently the figure stands at 1,500 registered members of the Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland. The RIAI is baffled.
Ann McNicholl, B.Arch, the education director at the RIAI, says that similar patterns are evident in most EU member states. ‘No one knows where the women architects get to. It is certainly not due to higher failure rates in exams.’ Now, at a time when new housing, in particular, has become such an exciting and challenging area we must make full use of the creative flair of our new graduates.