As part of RIBA International Week taking place 3 to 7 July 2017, RIBA celebrates a pioneer of architecture, Ethel Mary Charles, with a day devoted to applauding the achievements of women in architecture and who offer inspiration to the female architects of tomorrow.
Ethel Charles became the first woman architect to join the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), in 1898 with her journey fraught with prejudice and complexities. In this time, the perception of women studying and practicing architecture, which were readily available to male peers, restricted Ethel and fellow females of training to become architects. When wanting to join RIBA, one member attempted to obstruct Ethel’s entry by instigating a campaign based on the premise that “it would be prejudicial to the interest of the institute to elect a lady member.”
Despite the prejudice Ethel encountered, she continued to pursue a career as an architect and in June 1898, she passed the RIBA examinations for associate membership. Ethel’s perseverance and passion is cause for celebration, and a reminder to all what determination in what you believe can achieve.
Today Scott Brownrigg looks inwards, and pays tribute to #Ethelday by drawing the spotlight to a few of the Practice's own shining examples of women in architecture.
Helen joined Scott Brownrigg in 2014 as Director of Practice and is responsible for the strategic planning and implementation of programmes to maintain and enhance the high levels of technical competence and expertise across the whole practice. Well recognised through her collaboration with industry bodies; Helen was a founder member and co-chair of Architects for Change, the RIBA’s Equality & Diversity Forum; Chair of the RIBA Inclusive Design Committee; and Convenor of the RIBA Schools Client Forum. She has recently become co-chair of the new Construction Industry Council Green Construction Panel; is a mentor for the Construction Industry Council Fluid Mentoring Programme; and is involved with the Cabinet Office's Paralympic Legacy project, to improve the inclusive design skills of built environment professionals.
Helen commented on #Ethday day by saying:
“Finding female architect role models has been really important to me. I want to make sure that the next generation has an even bigger selection of inspiring role models”.
Here Helen talks about her role as Director of Practice at Scott Brownrigg.