The Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA) has released the Census Report 2001-2016 – Women in Landscape Architecture. The purpose of the report is to help the organisation to ensure the landscape architecture profession is as inclusive, progressive and modern as it can be.

In March 2018, AILA launched a Gender Equity Project to investigate the participation of women in landscape architecture and develop strategies to address gender inequity in the profession.

AILA President Shaun Walsh has reaffirmed that women are jointly shaping, innovating and leading the landscape architecture profession.

“This project will ensure we develop an appropriate research and evidence base to support equality in landscape architecture workplaces more broadly,” says Walsh.

“The study is the first step in a broader gender equity program and we look forward to leading a broader conversation with all members on how we should appropriately respond to the report’s findings. We will be forming a Gender Equity Working Group and spend the first quarter of 2019 sharing the results with our industry through various mediums.”

To properly understand the specifics of the issue, AILA collaborated with Parlour and the Monash XYX Lab by commissioning a study on gender equity specifically in landscape architecture.

“The report examines the available data to provide a detailed picture of women’s participation in landscape architecture. This statistical analysis will help the AILA and the profession understand how the experiences of women, as a group, differ from men and it provides a large-scale context within which individual experiences can be better understood,” says Dr. Gill Matthewson, author of the study.

“One of the key finds is that women are well-represented in raw numbers, and participation has grown over the course of the twenty-first century.

“The Report also highlights how women’s patterns of work change significantly over the course of their careers. The most notable pattern is the high numbers of women moving into part-time work as they age, suggesting the profession supports a wide variety of engagement.”

“There is also no discernible gender pay gap at the junior end of the profession.”

While some of these results are positive when compared to other professions, there are a number of areas that the Gender Equity Working Group will focus on, using a series of recommendations provided by Justine Clark of Parlour to guide the process.

“There is a stark distribution by gender when considering those who work part-time which suggest that the profession succumbs to wider, traditional societal pressures that see women bearing the responsivity of child raising,” says Matthewson.

“The overall gender pay fap for full-time workers in landscape architecture is 10 percent and there are some discrepancies in the types of ownership models between men and women.”