Architecture firm extends paid maternity and adoption leave to tackle sector gender ‘disparity’

Gina Colley

GLASGOW-based firm Threesixty Architecture has announced it has introduced six months full pay maternity and adoption leave, in a bid to tackle ‘systemic’ gender disparity within the sector.

With recent research revealing four out of five key roles in the industry are occupied by men, and only a third of architects in the UK are female, Threesixty revealed it wants to tackle one of the barriers to career progression by supporting staff during this important life moment. 

Associate director Gina Colley has helped shape the new policy and hopes that as well as supporting their staff’s caring responsibilities, the change will send a strong signal throughout the sector for other practices to respond to, and in turn, help encourage greater recruitment and retention of women. 

Gina said, “Our role is to create spaces for everyone – and for those spaces to be truly inclusive we must have a diverse workforce that reflects society. Allowing mothers the security of knowing that their careers will not falter if they have a child will encourage more women to see architecture as a profession which supports progression regardless of caring responsibilities.

“We are proud to support our staff to develop throughout their careers and look forward to implementing further strategic moves to continue to improve diversity at all levels of the practice.”

The business has also introduced enhanced paternity, adoption and fertility treatment policies. 

MD Alan Anthony added, “It has always been hugely important that we make a genuine, positive difference in both our business practices and how we treat our staff – it’s the reason we exist. At our core is a mission to create a world built on care, openness, design and excellence, and growing a business that makes places better – where people and the planet go hand in hand. 

“But we first need to look inward – the gender imbalance throughout, and especially at the top of our industry is simply unacceptable. We hope our new polices will help not only further drive inclusion across our own firm, but ultimately inspire other practices to support more women to return to the profession after maternity leave, without it detrimentally affecting their career.”