2001–2021 Parlour Census Report Analysis

16 October 2023

The latest Parlour Census Report: Gender & Diversity in Australian Architecture is a massive undertaking. It tracks 20 years of progress – some fast, some slow. It is an immensely valuable source of information about the architectural workforce, recording changes over time and revealing shifting patterns of participation. The ACA is proud to support this important research.

The Census report captures some remarkable positive change and identifies key issues that continue to impede career progression. The report includes new material about the gendered impact of parenting (extreme) and new data about business ownership in relation to practice size (sobering). Importantly, the report takes an intersectional approach and investigates the pay gap in terms of cultural diversity and gender (devastating).

The Parlour Census reports are a means to review the profession’s current state and to develop strategies for activation. They were developed by the Parlour research team – Gill Matthewson, Justine Clark and Anwyn Hocking – who spent many months of painstaking work unpacking, analysing and presenting the latest statistics.

So, what are the key findings? How do we put this data into action in working towards a more equitable and robust profession? Download the following full and summary reports or read a condensed version of the key findings below.

Download the full Census Report

Download the summary report


Abbreviated Key Findings

  • Women comprise an increasing proportion of the rapidly growing architectural workforce.
  • Graduation rates have doubled since 2000, but less than half the graduates enter the Australian architectural workforce.
  • Registration numbers for women have increased significantly.
  • The architectural workforce skews young, but the average age of women is increasing.
  • Retention rates are equivalent for women and men over 40 years old.
  • Increasing proportions of the workforce are employees.
  • Women are a growing proportion of owners of architectural businesses.
  • Women are significantly under-represented as owners of larger businesses.
  • Gender pay gaps persist.
  • Long hours persist, but have reduced over the last two decades.
  • Patterns of part-time work are strongly gendered.
  • Caring for dependent children has a significant and gendered impact.
  • The number of Indigenous practitioners has doubled, but overall numbers remain low.
  • The architectural workforce is culturally diverse.
  • Cultural and gender pay gaps reveal significant inequity.

See the full reports for expanded key findings, full statistics and detailed analysis.