Established in Prague in mid-2019, Architektky aims to achieve greater diversity in architecture, to open the profession to diverse life paths, and to focus on kindness, support and collaboration.
Architektky was founded by Alžběta Brůhová and Adéla Pečlová as a community for women professionals in architecture and related fields. They aim to support women graduates by organising complementary lectures, mentorings and networking events, and by opening discussions on taboo topics – and therefore fixing the so-called leaky pipeline (more than 60% of students in architectural faculties in the Czech Republic are women, yet only 20% are in leading positions in studios or in decision-making positions). The goal for Architektky is to change that, helping graduates of architecture and related fields to establish cooperation, develop professional skills and find solid ground for their further career.
We realised that there was a great disparity within professional representation that doesn’t reflect the gender diversity we had experienced while studying. We have also noticed a lack of diversity in the architectural field, with the canon focused on a homogenous group of people practising architecture. We see little kindness, support and collaboration in our profession.
Issues and goals
- Greater diversity in architectural representation with a focus on gender balance (leaders, teachers, visible people);
- Greater collaboration within architectural profession;
- Better working conditions for young professionals in architectural field;
- Finding ways to handle both career and care; and
- Greater openness and kindness within the architectural profession in general.
- Creating a network of women professionals in architecture and related fields;
- Creating an open, publicly shared database of women professionals in architecture and related fields;
- Sharing only transparent job advertisements within our community (type of work relationship and salary frame are mandatory);
- Creating a welcoming safe space for whichever topics our members need to discuss; and
- Organising mentoring sessions, professional business lectures and networking events.
Activities and projects
- Creating a safe space for discussion;
- Organising mentoring/education/networking events;
- Being team members for a survey addressing working conditions of young architects up to 35 years;
- Being team members for a survey addressing needs of young children up to three years of age and their parents who are living in Prague; and
- Creating a database of women professionals in architectural and related fields.
Plans for the future
Keep going, keep pushing, keep co-creating + being financially stable. International collaboration.
One of the most significant challenges is explaining our mission to some people outside our community – especially those who (wrongly) perceive feminism as a fight or a threat. Financial stability for our work is another challenge.
Advice for others
Get a mentor or someone who was in your position earlier. Collaborate. Find your own mission and stick to it no matter what hate comments you get.
We collaborate with other women professional organisations in the Czech Republic (mutual advice and support). Also, we collaborate with architectural college ARCHIP, which provides us space for our in-person events.