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More Women Entering Landscape Architecture, ASLA Surveys Suggest, But Current Membership Remains Predominately Male


Annual surveys by the ASLA suggest more women are entering the profession of landscape architecture, but the current membership makeup of the ASLA seems to contradict that theory.

The ASLA is a national professional organization whose membership is comprised mostly of licensed landscape architects, people with degrees in or graduates of landscape architecture programs, planners, students in landscape architecture programs, and suppliers and manufacturers of landscape products. As of Oct. 26, 2016, there were 9,652 men (62.07 percent) in the ASLA, and 5,580 women (35.88 percent) in it. Another 318 members (2.05 percent) declined to identify their gender.As it has done since at least 1997, the ASLA has compiled an online survey of 2016 graduating students in accredited undergraduate and graduate landscape architecture programs. The ASLA conducts the survey to gather information on students' post-graduation plans, among other reasons.

Of the 311 responses in the 2016 survey, 173, or 56 percent, were women, while 135, or 44 percent, were men. In 2002, ASLA reported that 56 percent of the graduating landscape architecture students were males, while 42 percent were females (2 percent did not respond). In 2006, the split was an even 50/50.

The 2016 survey also shows that female students pursue graduate degrees in landscape architecture at higher rates than their male counterparts, 45.5 percent to 26.6 percent.

The ASLA compiled data for men and women by age or age groups. The number of female graduates ages 26-30 comprised 28.3 percent of all of the women's responses, by far the largest. Women who are 23 years old represented nearly 18 percent of their gender's answers, followed by women who are 24 years old (11.6 percent).

Data was also categorized according to ethnic groups. Of 321 responses, 175, or 54.5 percent, were women; 141 answers, or 43.9 percent, were from men. Caucasians represented a whopping 57.7 percent of all of the women's responses, followed by Asians and Pacific Islanders (24.6 percent).

Which of the following best describes your current status? There were 329 responses to this question: 117 were from women, or 53.8 percent; 141 were from men, or 42.9 percent. Ninety-eight women, or 55.4 percent, said they were completing or just completed a graduate program in landscape architecture; 79 women, or 44.6 percent, said they were completing or just completed an undergraduate program in landscape architecture.

A total of 152 people were also asked what schools they were completing their undergraduate studies from: 75 were women (49.3 percent), while 76 were men (50.0 percent). Of the women's responses, their top schools were the University of California, Davis, and Purdue University with six people each, or 8.0 percent. Ohio State was next with five females (6.7 percent).

A total of 164 people said they were completing a graduate program: 97 were women (59.1 percent), and 62 were men (37.8 percent). The women's top school was Cornell University (8 students or 8.2 percent). The University of Colorado, Denver, was next with 7 students, or 7.2 percent, followed by the University of Virginia and Louisiana State University (six students each or 6.2 percent).

As seen in LASN magazine, November 2016.

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October 17, 2019, 6:29 am PDT

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