Gender pay hole worsens at largest UK structure studios

The common gender pay hole throughout the UK’s largest structure studios has bought wider previously yr, “disheartening” Dezeen evaluation of official knowledge reveals.

Among the many 20 organisations within the sector required to publish figures, together with the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and the Architectural Affiliation (AA), the median hourly gender pay hole for 2022/23 was 16.7 per cent.

Because of this, taken as a median, for each £1 earned by the middle-ranking man at these organisations, the middle-ranking lady earns solely 83p.

“Drawback that has not improved”

In accordance with the BBC, the median gender pay hole throughout the entire UK financial system is 9.4 per cent – so considerably smaller than the common determine reported within the structure sector.

Earnings disparity between women and men within the occupation seems to have grown year-on-year, up from the 14 per cent median gender pay hole reported by architecture-related organisations for 2021/22.

The hole for 2022/23 was additionally wider than that reported by 15 architecture-related organisations two years in the past in 2020/21 when the common was 15.1 per cent – indicating a one-step-forward, two-steps-back state of affairs.

“The newest knowledge is certainly disheartening,” stated Girls in Structure UK chair Igea Troiani.

“The difficulty of unequal pay for architects of various gender has been an ongoing drawback that has not improved whatever the measures taken by some to enhance the scenario,” she informed Dezeen.

“Sooner or later this traditionally male-dominated occupation must crack to let ladies architects take part on equal phrases.”

Corporations with not less than 250 workers within the UK are legally required to report yearly on their gender pay gaps, with 4 April the deadline for the monetary yr 2022/23.

Pay inequity widens at prime studios

Many of the main structure studios that disclosed figures within the final two years have seen a widening of the median gender pay hole, together with Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA), Grimshaw and Allies and Morrison.

Ten of the 17 organisations that reported in each 2021/22 and 2022/23 revealed a rise in median gender pay disparity, with HawkinsBrown, Stride Treglown, Sheppard Robson, TP Bennett, Decide Everard, the AA and the RIBA making up the remainder of this group.

Among the many different seven, the median hole decreased barely year-on-year at AHMM, Atkins and Stantec however was nonetheless wider than it was two years in the past in 2020/21.

Solely three studios – Foster + Companions, BDP and AECOM – confirmed a gradual narrowing of the hole over consecutive years, although the disparity nonetheless remained 10.5 per cent, 21 per cent and 15.9 per cent at these corporations respectively for 2022/23.

The UK authorities’s Gender Pay Hole Service web site signifies that PRP Architects failed to fulfill the 4 April deadline to report.

Gensler and HDR, each headquartered within the US, had been required to publish figures in 2022/23 for the primary time.

The previous, which is the world’s largest structure agency, disclosed a median hourly gender pay hole within the UK of 17.3 per cent. HDR reported an enormous median pay hole of 40.1 per cent, bigger than another architecture-related organisation.

Girls concentrated in low-paid jobs

The Gender Pay Hole Service web site states {that a} report for Ryder Structure, which was not required to supply figures in earlier years, can also be overdue.

London studio BB Partnership, whose web site lists 9 staff, revealed knowledge voluntarily. It has a median hourly gender pay hole of minus 15.6 per cent – indicating that the middle-ranking lady will get paid greater than the middle-ranking man.

HawkinsBrown reported the smallest median gender pay hole for 2022/23 amongst studios at 8.2 per cent. The AA, the place there was no median hole in any respect in 2021/22, disclosed a 2.3 per cent hole for 2022/23.

Corporations are additionally required to supply knowledge on pay distribution. These figures present that 73.2 per cent of the lowest-paid roles on the RIBA are occupied by ladies.

At HDR, 51 per cent of the lowest-paid jobs are executed by ladies however solely 4 per cent of the highest-paid.

Girls made up greater than half of the lowest-paid workers at 11 out of 18 organisations, however solely on the AA had been a lot of the highest-paid jobs executed by ladies.

Troiani, who can also be head of division for structure at London South Financial institution College, additionally referred to as for an finish to the observe of dividing architects on the identical degree into completely different wage tiers.

“The one method the scenario will change is that if corporations are legally required and audited to make sure they’re paying feminine and male architects precisely the identical wage if they’re enterprise the identical function, quite than create tiers inside a wage band,” she stated.

There have been additionally massive bonus pay disparities at a number of studios, particularly Gensler, ZHA, HDR and Decide Everard.

Atkins and the AA had been the one organisations the place the next share of girls had been paid a bonus than males in 2022/23.

The UK authorities tends to concentrate on median hourly pay when presenting pay hole knowledge as these figures have a tendency to supply the most effective indication of the standard employee’s earnings and should not distorted by extremes not like the imply, which produces an general common.

Dezeen has contacted the organisations talked about on this story for remark and the responses are under. This record shall be up to date as extra responses are acquired.


AHMM referred to its most up-to-date gender pay hole report.

Allies and Morrison

A spokesperson stated: “Our figures will fluctuate yr in and yr out – usually because of exterior circumstances accentuated by particular person decisions, for instance, life modifications in mild of covid.

“In a observe of our dimension, these can impression our figures in a given yr however we’re optimistic about our pipeline of numerous expertise.”


A spokesperson stated: “Whereas we all know our outcomes will fluctuate year-on-year as we search to deal with the gender imbalance, we have been making optimistic progress to shut the hole, and we’re assured we’re on track.

“For instance, our efforts to recruit extra ladies via STEM outreach and early careers pipeline has been profitable, however that is slowing our progress within the shorter-term, because it additional widens the pay hole between our new recruits and people in senior ranges.

“That stated, our largest authorized entity, Atkins, noticed a 7 per cent enhance in feminine illustration at an government degree. Along with this, over the previous 12 months, 36 per cent of all promotions have been feminine. As a proportion of the whole feminine workforce, 19 per cent of girls had been promoted in contrast with 15 per cent of males.

“We all know that tackling gender imbalance and making long-lasting impression can solely be achieved by widening our pool of expertise by opening up new alternatives, retaining this expertise by eradicating obstacles in the way in which of their development, and offering private
{and professional} help all through careers.”


Nick Fairham, chief government, stated: “Within the final yr we’ve got taken motion to boost our maternity go away and pay and launched a menopause coverage. We really feel this demonstrates our dedication to closing the gender pay hole and creating a really inclusive office.

“While we’ve got made progress in closing our gender pay hole, we recognise this is step one on a protracted highway. We’re obsessed with making certain gender fairness and our subsequent step is to analyse our gender stability at a granular degree to know why we’ve got fewer ladies in some professions and ranges and to develop an motion plan to deal with this.”


HawkinsBrown referred to its gender pay hole full report and supporting assertion and stated it had no additional remark.


A spokesperson stated: “HDR doesn’t at present have a longtime structure observe situated within the UK. HDR is dedicated to creating year-on-year enhancements to scale back the corporate’s gender pay hole by implementing quite a lot of methods as outlined in our annual pay hole report.”

Decide Everard

Duncan Inexperienced, managing companion, stated: “The previous six years of gender pay hole reporting significantly have revealed that gender pay gaps will fluctuate – and that is not essentially indicative of progress, significantly for corporations the place small modifications in worker profile have extra vital impression on figures.

“Our modifications in practices and a variety of vital EDI initiatives previously three years specifically have been positively acquired and engaged with by our folks. That being stated, these initiatives are long-term, and it’ll take time for his or her full impression to be felt, so we all know there may be extra to do.

“In reporting our gender pay hole knowledge, we transcend the headline figures as a result of we’re dedicated to delivering higher collectively and we need to perceive how our tradition, folks, administration and proactive actions assist us shut any gaps. We’re on a journey, as is all the business, and we all know that the learnings we take ahead from current years coupled with our long-term initiatives could have a profoundly optimistic impression on our folks.”


Robbie Turner, director of inclusion and variety, stated: “The information for 2021/22 present that RIBA nonetheless has work to do to deal with our gender and ethnicity pay hole. We’ve got reviewed our ongoing work to deal with these findings and are taking ahead extra actions for 2023. We proceed to be dedicated to taking evidence-based motion to eradicate these gaps.

“While you will need to acknowledge the restrictions of this knowledge, which don’t seize the nuances of gender, cultural, or ethnic id, intersectionality, or particular person expertise, the image is obvious – we have to do extra. This knowledge does present a worthwhile overview of tendencies inside our organisation, which we are going to use alongside extra well timed and granular knowledge to trace the impression of our work.”


Gillian Blandin-Ellis, human sources director for Stantec UK, stated: “Stantec is aiming to steadily lower the gender pay hole throughout our companies globally, and we’re proud to have been lately included within the Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index for the fourth consecutive yr. This globally recognised index tracks the efficiency of public firms dedicated to gender-data reporting transparency and advancing ladies’s equality within the office.

“Whereas we nonetheless have work to do, our ethos is grounded in creating an inclusive and equitable tradition.”

Stride Treglown

Pierre Wassenaar, chair of structure, stated: “This yr we’ve got seen a slight enhance in our imply and median pay hole of 0.24 per cent and 1.21 per cent respectively. Since beginning to report our gender pay hole, we’ve got seen an general lower in each imply and median figures. We’re nonetheless decided to scale back our practice-wide gender pay hole, and addressing our gender pay hole is a continuing course of of research and intervention.

“Our gender-balanced promotion and wage panel has continued to fulfill and overview salaries throughout the organisation. We’ve got began alternative ways of recognising contribution and distributing reward via the organisation.

“To help within the retention and help we can provide our feminine staff, we’ve got checked out extra family-based steering to assist higher transitions throughout key moments of household life. These embrace fertility and infertility remedies and turning into a dad or mum.

“To enhance our inclusive management and tradition, we’ve got continued to put money into our inside studying and growth programme, GROW.”

The images is by Ilya Pavlov.