Robert A.M. Stern on Women in Architecture

Women, Stern says, are often pulled away by the desire to have a family.
  • Transcript


Question: Why are there so few women architects?

Stern: Oh my god I’m gonna. . This is a complicated . . . Architecture schools are . . . like Yale have basically 50/50. Maybe fewer women than men, but not many. And that’s been true of architecture school since I began to teach pretty much. It was definitely not true when I went to architecture school, which was a boy’s club for sure. But women come to the critical points in their career when they embark upon motherhood. And architecture is a totally time consuming – disproportionate to any amount of any amount of money any architect is paid – business. Plus the global reach of architecture today demanding unbelievable amounts of travel – national and international travel – has added to the complication. And so women find it harder. They get torn between their desire to have a family and be with their family and pursue their profession. And I think that’s really the reason that, in the long run, women are not seen where they should be at the top of the profession. Because certainly in terms of their talents and their professional skills, there’s no difference between men and women.

Recorded on: 12/5/07