Leading female architect Dame Zaha Hadid says Britain is more 'misogynist' than other countries

Dame-Hadid PA

A leading female architect has said Britain is 'more misogynist' than other European countries, adding that industry is 'male dominated' and society is unequipped to help professional women go back to work after having a child.

Speaking in an interview with the Observer newspaper, Dame Zaha Hadid, the award-winning creator of the Olympic Aquatic Centre said: 'It is a very tough industry and it is male-dominated, not just in architectural practices, but the developers and the builders too.

'I can't blame the men, though. The problem is continuity. Society has not been set up in away that allows women to go back to work after taking time off.

'Many women now have to work as well as do everything at home and no one can do everything.

'Society needs to find away of relieving women. It may be a little easier now, with new technology, for a woman to take off six months or a year and then come back.'

Although there are equal numbers of male and female architecture students, only 20 per cent of qualified architects are women.

Dame Hadid said when she taught the subject her best students were women, but they 'drifted off' from the profession later on.

She added it was frequently assumed in this country that female architects would be unable to complete large commercial projects and were instead better suited to designing residential properties, public buildings or leisure centres.

'I am sure that as a woman I can do a very good skyscraper' she said.

'I don't think it is only for men.'



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