Since 2004, executive director Wanda Bubriski has developed programs and outreach for the 10-year-old Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation (BWAF) in New York, which works to promote women’s work and presence in the building industry. But as of yesterday, Bubriski will become founding director for the BWAF, and move on to research, book-writing, and establishing her own institute.
Bubriski said in a press release that she has noted “a change in the national discourse” regarding women in architecture during her tenure at BWAF, and that the foundation “has played a catalytic role in that process, emerging as a strong voice prompting change in the culture of the building industry so that women’s work—whether of the past, present or future—is acknowledged, respected and valued.”
Some of Bubriski’s work has included hosting lectures, films, tours, and colloquiums to bring women together to talk about their role in the industry. Some of the events that BWAF hosted just this spring and summer include a panel on women in design and a screening of A Girl Is a Fellow Here for AIA Detroit, a women’s leadership forum for CUNY in New York, and a seventh annual Women of Architecture program at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C.
Earlier this year, The Architect’s Journal Women in Architecture Survey found that there are fewer women in architecture in the UK now than in previous years. A similar work climate is found in the U.S. Which makes the work that the Beverly Willis Foundation even more relevant. While the AIA admitted its first woman member, Louise Bethane, of Buffalo, N.Y., about 124 years ago in 1888, the AIA’s women members make up only 13.3 percent today—even though about half of architecture students are women.
For those interested in following in Bubriski’s footsteps, the job description for Bubriski’s old job position as executive director is already posted online. And check out ArchDaily for an infographic on milestones over the years—including the founding of the BWAF—to see how far women have come in architecture.