The Parlour Guidelines to Equitable Practice were released at the 2014 National Architecture in Perth last week. Developed by Parlour in Association with the Australian Institute of Architects and researchers from the University of Melbourne and University of Queensland, the guidelines are aimed at helping architectural workplaces in Australia move towards a more equitable profession, that opens up opportunity for all.
One impetus for developing the guidelines was to stop the exodus of women leaving the profession as they approach the age of thirty. "Women make up almost half of all Australian architecture graduates, but just one in five registered architects are female," says Parlour's Justine Clark. "Unfortunately many architects work incredibly long hours and flexibility and part-time work is not yet an industry norm, which makes it difficult for women to balance work and family commitments."
Parlour researcher Dr Karen Burns said that other measures, like having a transparent pay scheme, offering equal training opportunities and supporting job flexibility and part-time positions, can make workplaces more supportive, and that the Parlour Guidelines offer employees and employers very practical suggestions, like conducting annual pay audits to ensure salaries and duties are equitable for both men and women.
The eleven guides address a range of common issues in the profession with suggestions and strategies around: pay equity, leadership, recruitment, mentoring, negotiation, long hours, part-time work, career breaks, professional registration and career progression.