Parlour is pleased to be working on Gender Equity in Landscape Architecture, a new study with the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects and the Monash University XYX Lab.

The Gender Equity in Landscape Architecture Project aims to understand how landscape architecture is performing broadly in terms of gender equity and to identify what needs to happen. Initiated by the Australian Institute of Landscape Architecture (AILA), the project is seen as the first step in the Institute taking a leadership role “to ensure the landscape architecture profession is as inclusive, progressive and modern as possible”. AILA understands the importance of gender equity to the profession’s future, observing that “Gender equity is critical to the growth of landscape architecture”.

There are many anecdotes about gender issues within landscape architecture, but little research or analysis. The data that is available backs up the anecdotal evidence. For example, AILA’s 2017 salary survey, found that – of the respondents – women represented 70% of the lower paid positions within the profession, while men represent 100% of the high-income earners.

This research aims to provide a clear understanding of women’s participation in landscape architecture and develop strategies to address workplace inequity. It will assist those workplaces that already have gender equity practices and principles in place to continue to improve and provide an important base for others to get started.

The project builds on the model of research and action developed by Parlour within architecture. Dr Gill Matthewson will lead the research from our end. She comments: “What analysis of the numbers of women did for the architecture profession was to shift the argument from vague anecdote to undeniable fact. It’s great that AILA is commissioning this work because you need to know what the situation actually is before you can start strategising what to do about it.”

Following completion of the study, AILA will work with members to determine the next steps. These could include the development of gender equity policies, resources, scholarly publications and women’s leadership programs.

AILA is asking landscape architecture practices and individuals to show their support for the project with a financial contribution. Practices can donate via the AILA pledge form, and find out more in the project overview and pledge pack. The Built Environment Channel, a new partner of AILA and Parlour, has already confirmed their financial backing of the initiative.