Empowering women in architecture

PUBLISHED May. 29, 2019

The conversation around women in architecture has long been an interesting one. In- theory the profession is completely open to both genders, however a culture has developed within the profession where it has become a male dominated field. At Inspiral we are constantly thinking about we can have the balance of respecting the culture of Indonesia but encouraging women to feel empowered to grow within the field of architecture, design and construction.

Empowering women to be involved in all spheres is important and essential due to the role they play in all areas of society. This equality is one of the main factors crucial to building a strong economy which in turn increases GDP and quality of life.


In the profession of architecture, in the international setting, men for some time have  represented the greater percentage of all positions in this field. However, we can see nowadays that women have established influence in the profession.  Between 1950 and 2015, there was a significant increase regarding the percentage of women architects in the US to 30% which shows that women were able to prove their rights to work as an architect by studying architecture first before competing in all architectural positions. Having said that, women still occupy only 10% of the highest ranking jobs in architecture globally, which shows that there is a lack of gender equality amongst the big architecture firms. We can make the assumption as Indonesia is primarily a patriarchal society and due to our experience working in the profession for the past 10 years here that the percentage of females perusing architecture as a career is considerably less within Indonesia than abroad.


There are a lot of great women architects who made a profound impact on architecture such as Zaha Hadid who has inspired a lot of women architects around the world as she was honored to be the first woman to win a Pritzker Architecture Prize. An example of an influential woman within architecture in Indonesia is Daliana Suryawinata. She has published more than 20 titles in architecture as well as being awarded in domestic and international fields. Daliana Suryawinata also proposed the concept of Jakarta Superkampung 2045, which aims to develop Jakarta to be the new Singapore.


At Inspiral we are delighted to have some great examples of female architects that are thriving within their profession. Putri Ayu is a wonderful example of this. On discussing this topic with her she believes there is a marked improvement in recent years in gender equality within the architecture profession in Indonesia. In Putri Ayu’s opinion onsite inspection of construction can provide the biggest challenge for female architects, as historically in Indonesia (similar to abroad) this is considered “men’s work’. However, in the stages of design, concept, and QS works, women are very much valued and respected. Putri  Ayu feels that overall her experience as an female architect, in Indonesia has been extremely positive and she is optimistic that women will be more empowered in this field in the coming years. With Putri Ayu leading our team we are confident and determined to continue encouraging more women to climb the ladders of success within the profession.

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