Dezeen Magazine

RIBA cautions architects about MIPIM misconduct

RIBA president Ben Derbyshire has warned architects attending the MIPIM property fair to adhere strictly to the body's code of conduct, following the real-estate sector's involvement in the Presidents Club scandal.

Responding to Dezeen's report of claims of sexual harassment at MIPIM, the president of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Derbyshire called on members attending world-leading property networking event to become whistle blowers for inappropriate behaviour.

"There have been some reports regarding inappropriate behaviour at MIPIM in previous years. The RIBA takes this matter extremely seriously and strongly condemns any form of sexual harassment or discrimination," said Derbyshire in response to the call for RIBA to take a stronger stance on sexual inequality by a witness.

He made the comments in the wake of the Financial Times' expose of sexual harassment at the Presidents Club, which has focused attention on MIPIM.

In previous years there have been numerous allegations of inappropriate behaviour by delegates at the notoriously male-dominated networking event, which is a key opportunity for architects and industry professionals to secure work.

Derbyshire urged architects to adhere to the professional body's code of conduct, which demands members act with integrity and respect the rights of others. It also calls for compliance with the Equality Act, which prohibits discrimination based on sex, race and disability.

"We are committed to ensuring architecture and the wider construction industry are inclusive and we have strict requirements for our members through our codes of professional conduct," said Derbyshire.

"All members attending MIPIM as part of the RIBA delegation are expected to report any inappropriate conduct to RIBA staff and MIPIM organisers immediately."

Derbyshire said in his role as RIBA president he would play a pivotal role in eradicating inequality in the sector.

"I am determined to play my part in driving change and to support the RIBA's ongoing measures to eradicate inequality," he said. "We have mentoring resources to support female staff including a Women into Leadership event and the nationwide roll-out of our mentor training launched last year."

"Our Practice Role Models project shines a light on exemplar practices and our Employment and Equality, Diversity and Inclusion policies commit RIBA Chartered Practices to providing non-discriminatory and inclusive working environments, upheld by our Code of Practice, complaints procedure and sanctions," added Derbyshire.