PARLOUR: a space to speak – bringing together research, informed opinion and resources; generating debate and discussion; expanding the spaces for women in Australian architecture.
Posts by Kerstin Thompson

The Parlour Guides to Equitable Practice have been developed to help Australian architecture move towards a more equitable profession; one that offers opportunity for all and is better positioned to meet contemporary challenges.

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Architecture is in the midst of substantial change. How architects define themselves, how practices operate, and the range of roles and types of work pursued – all is up for grabs. Since the research underpinning the Parlour Guides began in 2011, many women and men in Australian architecture have stepped forward to ask for a more inclusive profession, one that assists women and men to better balance their professional and personal lives, to realise their full potential, and to stay in the profession.

The guides will help facilitate this change. Addressed to practices, employees and the wider profession, they outline the key issues facing women in architectural workplaces and provide positive, productive strategies and suggestions for change.

The Parlour Guides are for everyone.

The architecture firm of the future ­– with increased flexibility, meaningful part-time work, acceptable career breaks and reasonable hours ­– will benefit us all. Many of the challenges that face women in architecture also affect men, however they tend to impact on women in exaggerated ways.

There is no one reason for women’s significant under representation in architecture and no one solution. As a result, the Guides provide multiple tactics to deal with multiple issues. They also recognise that gender inequity needs to be tackled by us all: women and men, employers and employees, students and practitioners, universities and professional bodies, we all have the ability, and the obligation, to make a difference.

Download the guides here:

Introduction: Parlour Guides to Equitable Practice:

01 Pay Equity: Moving towards equal pay for women and men in architecture

02 Long hours: Challenging long-hours cultures in architecture

03 Part-time work: Creating and promoting meaningful part-time work in architecture

04 Flexibility: Making flexible working arrangements work in architecture

05 Recruitment: Achieving equitable recruitment in architecture

06 Career progression: Navigating diverse architectural careers.

07 Negotiation: Negotiating effectively in architecture.

08 Career break: Planning, managing and returning from a career break in architecture

09 Leadership: Promoting and supporting women to senior roles in architecture.

10 Mentoring: The importance of mentors in architecture

11 Registration: Supporting women who choose to register

Good luck and please let us know if the guides have been useful for you. We’d love to know if and how you have put them into practice. You can email us at hello@archiparlour.org

If you would like your own Parlour Guides poster, designed by Studio Catherine Griffiths, download the PDF version here ParlourGuides-Set.

10 lessons

10 lessons

How do we navigate practice knowing that gender bias overlays the way we frame and understand architecture? Kerstin Thompson outlines ten lessons learnt over her career.
Hit and miss

Hit and miss

What if halfway through a marathon the road diverged? Kerstin Thompson reflects on the complex choices woman – and men – confront in the journey of practice.
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