By Shani Shilo
In recent years, architecture schools have been flooded with female
students. Stories told by alumnae of not having ladies' rooms on campus
back in the day do not seem relevant anymore, in light of the current
female majority. One may get the impression that architecture, which has
been traditionally perceived as a masculine combination of engineer and
artist, is soon to become a female stronghold.
Nevertheless, men are still the majority at Israel's 20 major
architecture offices. And abroad, there is only one woman among the
super-architects - Zaha Hadid. Some say the influx of women stems from a
crisis in the field, one that has cut profits and hurt the profession's
prestige. But could the massive female influx have turned the field into
a "second income" profession?
Architect Vered Flock, director of the film "A Skirt of Concrete and
Cement," thinks this is "a situation of chicken and egg. What's for
certain is that there is a mutual cause-and-effect between the
devaluation of the profession and the increase of women practicing it.
It is hard to say what came first - whether the entrance of women caused
it to devalue, or the devaluation allowed women to get in more easily.
Architecture is becoming a less profitable profession that employs an
increasing number of women."
Hadara Sheflan Katzav does not believe that women have caused the
profession to lose its prestige....