Graduate Gender Pay Gap

12 December 2013

The graduate gender pay gap in architecture is a complicated matter. John Held and ACA – SA aimed to clarify recent poor reporting.

The launch of the COAG Reform Council report on gender equity, Tracking equity: Comparing outcomes for women and girls across Australia, saw erroneous reporting regarding the graduate gender pay gap in architecture in various News Corp publications, including the Adelaide Advertiser.

In response, John Held, President of ACA – SA, submitted the following letter to the editor. Unfortunately this was not published. However, members may be interested in the letter, which is as follows:

In the article published on November 19 Natasha Bita writes, “The Council of Australian Governments Reform Council report shows that … male architect graduates earn $9000 more and male lawyers $4300 more.”

This is incorrect. The COAG report refers to data from the Graduate Careers Australia survey, which groups architecture together with many other professions and industries in the construction field. As the COAG report identifies, the gap referred to pertains across the entire field, not to architecture alone.

Graduate salaries in architecture are determined by the Architects Award, which the ACA negotiates on behalf of architectural employers. This award helps to ensure that all graduates are treated fairly when they enter our profession.

The Association of Consulting Architects acknowledges that women still face unequal opportunity in architecture, as in society more broadly. We welcome the COAG report, along with current initiatives to address gender inequity in architecture. We are concerned that such lazy journalism is counterproductive and has the potential to undermine these important efforts to improve opportunities for women in architecture.

John Held, ACA – SA President

The presence of a graduate pay gap in architecture is a complicated topic. The only data available is from Graduate Careers Australia, which groups a wide range of professions and industries together as ‘Architecture and Construction’. A number of pieces on the Parlour website seek to untangle the numbers and the issues.

This item was first published in ACA Communique December 2013.