Think back to the late 1960s, when 94 percent of the students enrolled in American architecture programs were men. Or to the early 1990s— decades after the Civil Rights Act’s Title VII outlawed discrimination by gender—when more than 80 percent of architects were still men.
Times have changed: more than 40 percent of graduates from architecture school are women. Attitudes about working women have also changed; nobody questions their presence in design charrettes or client meetings, and of the few architects to win a MacArthur “genius” grant, two, Elizabeth Diller and Jeanne Gang, are women; since 2004, two women, Zaha Hadid and Kazuyo Sejima (the latter with her design partner, Ryue Nishizawa), have won the Pritzker Prize. Thanks to the Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation and the International Archive of Women in Architecture, women’s historical contributions to the field are better known. Women-owned practices are common, as are female-male— often wife-husband—partnerships. And today, architecture’s future rests largely in the hands of men and women nurtured on the precepts of gender equality.
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