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A Sexist pay gap? Why women architects should be equally remunerated as compared to their male counterparts.
June 14, 2021 at 6:30 PM
by Devayani Bapat

A Sexist pay gap? Why women architects should be equally remunerated as compared to their male counterparts. 


She’s a woman, all of 26 years of age. She’s probably going to get married and have a kid and demand maternity leave anyway. 

She’s a woman, all of 56 years of age. She’s probably hit menopause and going to be hormonal and unpleasant to deal with at work anyway. 

She’s a woman, no matter what her age. She’s competent, a fighter, capable and deserves equal rights and pay. It isn’t merely a man’s world anymore. 

In this article -

  • Research shows that women architects and engineers earnt 85 cents less than men in 2020. 
  • Research shows that a company that is balanced in terms of hiring tends to outperform in comparison to their competitors by 15%.
  • Equal work, equal pay but also provide equal opportunity, irrespective of one's gender.

We address this argument in 4 parts - 

  • Let’s get some statistical data
  • Our beliefs
  • Why women deserve to earn more
  • How companies benefit from having women at higher positions in their company

Let’s get some stats 


In 2020, Narrow the gap  reported that women in architecture earned 85 cents for every dollar a man made, in 2020, in the United States. That averages out to an approximation of 12,700 dollars less than a man made in the year 2020. Believe it or not, this was the same wage gap as reported back in 2011. It's been 9 years, but where is the progress, where is the equality? The Equal Pay Act of 1963 was passed in the United States, that looks to abolish the pay gap based on the sex of an individual. The act has been passed 58 years ago, but here we are still looking at a wide pay gap of an average of 13,000 dollars, based on the gender of the individual. 

Is this wage gap only based on the sex of an individual? The answer is no. The wage gap is sexist as well as racist in nature. Women are differentiated not just based on their gender but also basis the colour of their skin. Based on a document released by the AIA in 2018,  wage gaps are based on different factors such as nature of employment, experience and gender norms and roles pre-defined by society. In an attempt to bridge the pay parity gap, AIA defined compensation in the field of architecture as equal pay for equal work, a practise that is yet to come into effect as indicated by the statistic stated above. 

What we believe


Do women deserve to earn less money just cos they are women? Is a natural biological role of a woman enough to define the amount of money she makes? Is it okay to reduce a woman to merely one who is born to cater to biological needs and take on the role of a caregiver? Our opinion is in the negative. 

We believe that women in architecture deserve to be remunerated equally as men and although equal pay is a fundamental right and the most prominent reason for them to receive a sum that's fair and indistinguishable, the other reasons are many. 

Why women deserve to earn more


As stated by the AIA on account of International Women’s Day a couple of years ago, women contribute to the financial, social and environmental growth of a company a lot more than men. Not just that, research also shows that companies that are balanced in hiring are most likely to outperform their competitors by 15%.  Including women as employees in a company helps increase cultural and creative diversity as well as showcases inclusivity and respect. It gives women a chance to rise to the occasion and sets an example for younger girls to take the plunge in their careers and climb up the ladder of success. Including the mind of a woman in a team helps add another perspective to the table and lends a creative helping hand to the table of design. It has also been observed that women are more conscious of their carbon footprint, hence leaning towards sustainable architecture, that stands strong as the blooming vertical of architecture in the world, moving forward. Adding in a woman architect to the sea of male architects helps change the parameters of conversation and adds in an angle of enrichment and attention to detail in terms of design. 

Women have the innate need to pay attention to minute details (not to say that men don’t, but most women do) such as accessibility, client interaction and the need to hear everyone out to ensure that the result is desirable. Research proves that women design differently than men and that they focus on greater understanding of the clients’ needs and aspirations for their space, to then come up with a design solution that suits the client best. Women love to get inspired and then create rather than assert their opinions on clients, thus adding a humane, more approachable mode of client-architect interaction. 

How companies benefit from having women in higher roles of the administration


Research has proven that companies that have women sitting in on higher positions of employment, tend to thrive and enjoy higher sales and returns. It has also been observed that women help keep their teams in a company together with their people skills. Not only team members but also firms, tend to retain clients when a woman is incharge.

Having a woman on-board as part of the team has its various pros, and while it is not a comparison at all, our argument states that women must receive equal pay in a field wherein they contribute equally and sometimes more than their male counterparts as in any other profession too. Our fight isn’t against the men in the field, our fight is against gender norms set by society that fail to rationalise the pay gap. We don’t believe that for women to gain pay parity a man must be put down, we at Archslate believe that a woman and a man must stand together, as leaders of an architectural firm, as equals, receiving the same pay-check at the end of every month, given that they put in equal hours of hard work. The gender of an individual must not decide the remuneration they receive for the amount of hard work they put in. We believe in taking a step towards a better future, one that allows a woman to feel as though it isn’t just a man’s world, but a man and woman’s world together.  It’s time to take a step towards change and stand up for what’s right. One must definitely get equal pay for equal amounts of work done, but the crux of the argument remains, that one must be given the opportunity to do equal work too, irrespective of race and gender. 

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