Swinburne University introduces women-only architecture professorship

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Swinburne University of Technology’s Hawthorn campus.

Swinburne University of Technology’s Hawthorn campus. Image: Swinburne

Melbourne’s Swinburne University of Technology has begun recruiting for an architecture professorial role that is open only to women.

The role is part of a wider bid to increase the number of women in the science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine (STEMM) disciplines, and is the first time the university has advertised a women-only position for architecture.

The university said the move would help the institution – and the profession – move forward in terms of gender equity and representation.

Pro vice-chancellor Sarah Maddison, who leads the Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE) program at Swinburne, said the professor/associate professor position would be a visible commitment to developing women in architecture.

“Women are largely under-represented in architecture; only 31 per cent of architects in Australia are women,” she said.

“This is a pathway issue. While 50 percent of architecture PhDs are women, we’re not seeing this translate into senior roles within academia or industry.

“Critically, only 20 per cent of senior academics in STEMM disciplines in Australian universities are women, including in architecture and building. Swinburne is not immune, but we’re in a position to do something about it.”

While Swinburne’s own figures show its overall workforce gender balance is fairly evenly split, only 30 percent of staff in the university’s STEMM areas are women – and only 31 percent of these women are academic staff, which means less than 10 percent of its STEMM academic staff are female. Women also make up just 20 percent of the university’s STEMM academic professoriate.

Swinburne University commenced its architecture program with the introduction of an undergraduate course in 2018. It will introduces postgraduate degrees, including Master of Architecture, Master of Urban Design and a joint Master of Architecture and Urban Design in 2019. The university says the introduction of the masters programs will create more opportunities for additional staff.

Swinburne’s women-only professor/associate professor position in architecture is open until 16 NovemberFor further information, head here

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