Dezeen Magazine

"No woman who works in this industry is surprised"

In this week's comments update, we recap the sexism row sparked after a survey by Dezeen discovered that only three of the world's 100 biggest architecture firms are led by women.

Mind the gap: Dezeen's survey, which found a "shocking" lack of gender diversity at senior positions within architecture, sparked a debate about maternity leave in the comments section.

"No woman who works in this industry is surprised by this," wrote a frustrated Yethica.

But Henry felt that the findings were indicative of previous mistakes: "When it comes to management positions today in architecture, these are all people have been in the profession for around 20-30 years."

"30 years ago there can be no dispute that there was a massive gender inequality in the profession and the result is these statistics."

"Many really good architects like tiny practices or being a sole trader, even working from home. This situation suits many very good women architects," added Colin MacGillivray

However, Yethica wasn't having any of it: "Not all women are mothers. And even if we are, I only know one woman who has taken 'years off'. It's hard to recognise your own bias, but both of your comments are perfect examples of the built-in misogyny and bias in this profession."

"The 'one powerful woman' is usually an individual who has chosen to focus on her career by possibly sacrificing the prospect of a family. And for the record, it is no longer maternity leave, it is parental leave," continued Anna L.

One reader called-out other commenters who denied the imbalance:

Are you surprised by the findings in Dezeen's gender survey? Have your say in our comments section ›

Shero Hijab Barbie by Mattel

Barbie world: a new Barbie doll based on hijab-wearing Olympic athlete Ibtihaj Muhammad was met with both praise and criticism this week.

Lst 212 seemed convinced. "It seems like a nice idea to introduce possible role models for kids from a diverse range of backgrounds, ethnicities or professions. I believe there is a good intention, along with some possible marketing opportunities for the Middle East."

But JayJay appeared to be totally outraged: "Encouraging young children to wear hijabs is sexualising them. A child of four years is not a sexual object who needs to be covered up."

"So inspiring a somewhat unachievable body shape in miniskirts and bikinis is right for 4-year-olds?" hit back Martin Lew, referencing past arguments against the toys.

"This doll is modelled after a specific public figure who wears a hijab. No four-year-old girl is going to start seriously wearing a hijab just because of a doll," wrote Rthko.

Yethica debunked JayJay's claim:

Read the comments on this story ›

Waste of time: readers responded enthusiastically to IKEA's new sustainable recycled wood and plastic chair by Form Us With Love, but questions lingered over the validity of the product.

"Very nice chair and assembly system, but the material itself is clearly not recyclable and therefore not really sustainable," said Soho Dolo.

"The chair contradicts the widely respected 'cradle-to-cradle' principles of avoiding the mixing of 'biological nutrients' (the wood) and 'technical nutrients' (the plastic) in a single material," explained Alexis Harrison.

Summusen took the criticism one step further: "IKEA is to furniture what H&M is to fashion: cheap expendable design for the masses."

"An ethically sourced and recycled biocomposite chair can be totally 'unsustainable' if it is bought en mass and chucked out after a year," argued Eddie Dafydd Hamilton.

VC also felt the commentary was misplaced: "The 'green bashing' is ridiculous. I'd love anyone to tell me ONE TIME they have recycled furniture!"

This reader had a clear message for the Swedish furniture company:

Read the comments on this story ›

Rocky territory: Ole Scheeren's plans to build a 333-metre-high skyscraper featuring a "mountain-shaped" podium in Ho Chi Minh City was largely panned by Dezeen readers.

"These free-form 'contour-and-extrude' buildings are getting tiresome. Doesn't anyone compose a facade anymore?" huffed John Delaney, who felt he had seen this style of design before.

"Ma Yansong called; he wants his design language back," sniped Martin Lang.

"He can have it as long as he promises not to use it," joked HeywoodFloyd.

Danny Dobson wasn't a fan either: "Horror story."

One reader felt he had seen the shape before.

Read the comments on this story ›