SPH builds opportunity on gender diversity

27/06/2018 - 19:59

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SPECIAL REPORT: SPH Architecture + Interiors is an industry leader in terms of workplace diversity, with its share of women employees well above the construction sector’s participation average of about 11 per cent.

Ian Scott (left), Jamie Penn, Ali Devellerez and David Hall are proud the business is an equal opportunity employer. Photo: Joel Barbitta

SPH Architecture + Interiors is an industry leader in terms of workplace diversity, with its share of women employees well above the construction sector’s participation average of about 11 per cent. 

Three quarters of the 18 staff at the West Leederville-based firm, which specialises in architectural and interior design as well as master planning and project management, are women. 

And in a profession where women account for just 20 per cent of Australia’s registered architects, the business has achieved a 50-50 female to male ratio of registered architects within its practice. 

The company is led by directors Ian Scott, Jamie Penn, David Hall and Ali Devellerez, who is also the founder of Western Australian mentoring group Women in Architecture, which pairs registered architects with graduates. 

By defying industry trends, via an offering of flexible and part-time hours, SPH believes its championing of gender diversity gives the firm a unique offering and design flare. 

Established in 2007, the business has reinvented its portfolio since inception, weathering the GFC storm by honing its skills in the state’s mining industry before diversifying to include health, aged-care and retirement living design services as part of its repertoire. 

SPH has since completed 50 projects in the ageing population space, with a client base including St Ives Group, Juniper and Amana Living. 

The firm has also specialised in design for dementia, an emerging architectural practice that tailors design principles to create more independence for patients, recently completing the Narrogin Cottage Homes, a 20-bed addition for people living with dementia.   

A substantial investment in recent years into new technology, such as 3D drawings software, has also enabled the business to capture government contracts, recently delivering two major fit-out projects for Western Power and the state’s Crime and Corruption Commission.

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