RIBA headquarters at 66 Portland Place

RIBA's first director of diversity and inclusion resigns after a year

Marsha Ramroop, the director of diversity and inclusion at the Royal Institute of British Architects, is stepping down after being in the role for just a year.

Ramroop, who was appointed to the position in January 2021, is quitting her role at the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) to "focus on other opportunities", the institute said.

Ramroop, who is of Indo-Trinidadian heritage, was employed to implement a diversity and inclusion strategy at RIBA and to help make architecture a more inclusive profession.

Ramroop to leave RIBA in "next couple of months"

"Marsha will be leaving the RIBA in the next couple of months and will be focussing on other opportunities", RIBA's chief executive officer Alan Vallance said in a statement to Dezeen.

"We hope to draw on her expertise in the future, but for the time being, we thank her for her hard work and wish her well."

Marsha Ramroops headshot
Marsha Ramroop took on the role of diversity director in January 2021

As reported by the Architect's Journal, Ramroop's budget had been significantly cut as part of the RIBA’s restructuring.

This has also included the refurbishment of its headquarters at 66 Portland Place in central London and the closure and merger of some regional offices, as reported by Architects' Journal.

Under Ramroop's directorship, the association launched a number of initiatives including RIBA Radio, a broadcast focused on diversity in architecture. She also spearheaded several inclusive groups to help shape policies at RIBA and make it a more inclusive workplace.

"From establishing a comprehensive Cultural Quotient learning programme and RIBA Communities to creating a pop-up RIBA Radio station to advocate positive change in architecture and launching guidance in key areas including menopause and gender pronouns, Marsha has delivered a great number of impactful and engaging initiatives over the last year," said Vallance.

RIBA recruiting a new director of diversity and inclusion

Vallance revealed that the organisation will recruit a new director to replace Ramroop and maintain its commitment to improving diversity and inclusion.

"We now have in place the foundations for a more inclusive and culturally intelligent organisation," explained Vallance.

"We will shortly be recruiting for a successor to lead our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion team, ensuring we keep up the great momentum and progress," he added.

A former BBC reporter, Ramroop is one of a small number of black women working in architecture faculties across the UK. She is also the founder of Unheard Voice, a consultancy group that specialises in cultural intelligence and offers equality, diversity and inclusion training.

Ramroop has declined to comment.