Australia’s largest architecture firms fail to meet gender pay gap

  • by

First-time data on Australia‘s gender pay gaps has revealed the country’s 22 biggest architecture firms pay men between five and 27 per cent more than women, failing to meet the government’s target pay gap range.

Published yesterday in an online tool by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA), a federal government agency, the data included figures from all private companies in Australia with one hundred employees or more. It was the first time gender wage gaps from individual employers had been published in the country.

Out of a total of nearly 5,000 companies, 22 were architecture and landscape architecture studios, including Grimshaw, Hassell and Woods Bagot.

All 22 studios had a median total remuneration gender pay gap in favour of men and failed to have pay gaps within the target range of plus or minus five per cent, which allows “normal business fluctuations and employee movements”, according to WGEA CEO Mary Wooldridge.

Majority of companies reported pay gaps of over five per cent

In comparison, 62 per cent of all the companies in the data had median gender pay gaps of more than five per cent in favour of men.

Nine of the studios had gender pay gaps larger than the national average of 19 per cent.

The architecture and landscape architecture studios included in the data were Architectus, Aspect Studios, Bates Smart, Billard Leece Partnership, Buchan Group, BVN, Conrad Gargett, Cox Architecture, Designinc, Francis-Jones Carpenter, GHD WoodheadGrimshaw, GroupGSA, Hames Sharley, HassellHayball, HDR, Mode Design, NBRS Partners, Nettletontribe, Tract Consultant and Woods Bagot.


Gender pay gap worsens at biggest UK architecture studios

The three architecture studios with the largest gender pay gaps were GHD Woodhead, Hassell and Mode Design, which had median gaps of 26.1, 26.4 and 26.9 per cent respectively.

GroupGSA had the smallest median pay gap at 5.6 per cent. Woods Bagot had a 9.4 per cent gap, Grimshaw sat at 16.3 per cent, Cox Architecture at 17.1 per cent and BVN at 18.5 per cent.

Nine studios out of 22 had more female than male employees

The data, which used information from the 2022-23 employer census, was published in an online tool that also revealed the gender balance between men and women at different levels in each company.

Out of the 22 architecture studios, 12 had more men than women across all employee pay levels, nine had more women than men and one studio, BVN, had a 50/50 split.

Across the studios, the workforce gender composition between women and men ranges from 59/41 in favour of women at GroupGSA to 36/64 in favour of men at Buchan Group and GHD Woodhead.

This gender balance in the studios shifts in the upper pay quartile, where all studios had more men than women. The studios with the greatest disparity in this quartile were Nettletontribe with a gender composition of 15/85 in favour of men, and HDR and GHD Woodhead at 20/80.

Additional published information included whether the company has a gender pay gap policy, if it undertook payroll analysis and if action was taken as a result of the analysis.


UK architects must do more to close gender pay gap says RIBA president

Employers were also given the option to submit statements giving context to their gender pay gap results.

“Hassell shares the goal of the WGEA to achieve gender equality,” said Hassell. “As part of this broad commitment, we specifically support WGEA’s efforts to address the Organisational Gender Pay Gap in Australia and this inaugural cycle of public reporting of data across our industry.”

“It helps us reflect on where we are currently in our journey and what more we can do to accelerate toward achieving gender balance at all levels of our organisation.”

“When comparing our results to our Industry Group, our gender pay gap is less than the industry comparison,” said Woods Bagot. “While we are pleased to be leading our industry, we acknowledge there is still more action required to achieve a better result for our current employees, future employees and our clients.”

First time gender wage gaps from individual employers has been published

The published WGEA data follows the passing of the Workplace Gender Equality Amendment (Closing the Gender Pay Gap) Bill 2023 in Australia on 30 March last year.

It is the first time WGEA has published gender wage gaps from individual employers. In the 10 years prior, the organisation published average gender pay gaps across different industries and occupations.

“The release of employer gender pay gaps marks a historic step towards transparency and accountability in addressing gender inequality,” said Australia’s Minister for Women Katy Gallagher.

“Transparency and accountability are critical for driving change,” she added. “By shining a light on gender pay gaps at an employer level, we are arming individuals and organisations with the evidence they need to take meaningful action to accelerate closing the gender pay gap in Australian workplaces.”

In the UK, companies with at least 250 employees are required to report their salaries. Last year, the average gender pay gap widened in the country’s 20 biggest architecture studios. This compares to six out of 13 reporting architecture studios having growing pay gaps in 2022.

The photography is by Dylan Gillis via Unsplash.

The post Australia’s largest architecture firms fail to meet gender pay gap appeared first on Dezeen.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.