Tuesday 1st August 2017
Women in social housing work in many different roles. From Surveyors and Engineers to Architects and Planners there are no boundaries when it comes to building a better future for communities. Recently RIBA honoured one of their most inspirational Architects, Ethel Charles, for her work in housing.
In 1898 Ethel was the first woman to be admitted to RIBA, despite opposition from some male members. Despite passing the RIBA entrance examination, Ethel was banned from working on commercial projects so used her skills to designing modest housing projects. Almost 120 years on from Ethel’s admittance to RIBA, female architects have come a long way and icons such as the late Zaha Hadid have continued to provide inspiration for a new generation of female architects.
calfordseaden is proud to have three of our very own inspirational women in our Architectural team: Paula Sande, Mariana Fernandez Davila and Ellisha Seagroatt. Just like Ethel Charles, Paula, Mariana and Ellisha deliver design solutions for a range of housing types, from bespoke home refurbishments to huge new build residential schemes. Yet a lot has changed since 1898 and a large part of our architectural service offering includes design for commercial and retail projects, including huge retail distribution centres for a leading supermarket chain.
Female architects owe a lot to Ethel for changing the way women are viewed in the construction industry, which is why RIBA recently dedicated the 5th July 2017 to her. The day was celebrated on social media as #EthelDay and organisations and individuals from across the industry responded to the campaign to celebrate the women working in their architectural teams.
Whilst working in social housing can be seen as a bit of a boys club at times, we must remember the icons that paved the way for women to succeed and continue to inspire the next generation of architects, engineers, surveyors and every other role in between.
About the author
Emily Rackham, Calfordseaden
Emily Rackham, calfordseaden