Women in Ownership/Partnership

26 June 2024

Women are a mere 12% of the owners of Australian architectural practices that employ over 20 people. What are the structural barriers to women attaining ownership or partnership positions? Research conducted by the Champions of Change Architecture Group identifies the challenges and provides concrete recommendations in the Women in Ownership/Partnership in Architecture and Design toolkit.

Ninotschka Titchkosky talks about women and ownership in architecture.

Increasing representation

Increasing the representation of women in the ownership of Australian architecture and design firms is crucial for addressing gender equity in the profession. Benefits will include cultural transformation, fair distribution of rewards and recognition, enhanced business performance and increased retention of talented, experienced people.

Women in Ownership/Partnership in Architecture and Design draws on surveys and interviews to understand the impediments experienced by women. This is supported by detailed recommendations to help eliminate or reduce barriers and increase transparency.

The toolkit encourages active engagement and reflection by current ownership/leadership teams, with the aim of making concrete change. This includes supporting the long-term career development of women, improving transparency about ownership/partnership structures, and addressing specific inhibitors within agreements, processes, mechanisms and policies.

What is in the toolkit?

The toolkit is organised into two parts. The first describes the industry context and common ownership models, presents the findings from a survey and interviews conducted by the Champions of Change Architecture Group, and outlines the core barriers to ownership.

The second part provides detailed recommendations and considerations under three sections:

  • Broad Inclusivity includes information on developing a culture of diversity and inclusion, diversity and inclusion policies, talent development processes, and accountability and reporting.
  • Transparency and Accessibility of Ownership/Partnership includes advice on transparent organisational structures and governance, openness/awareness of risk and reward, and targeted learning and development.
  • Ownership/Partnership Structures, Agreements, Processes and Policies covers financial mechanisms, processes for adding new owners/partners, policy support for equitable owners/partners, and making room in the ownership/partnership.


Download the Women in Ownership/Partnership Toolkit


Women in Ownership/Partnership in Architecture and Design was developed by the Champions of Change Architecture Group, led by Brett Hudson (Peddle Thorp), Steve Coster (Hassell) with Melissa Riley (Hayball), Jade Mehonoshen (DKO) and Yvonne Chan (DesignInc).