Numbers of female architects working for UK practices has fallen 7% since 2009.
The RIBA Future Trends Survey reported 21% of architectural staff in December 2011 were female, compared to 28% in January 2009.
Architects also reported a decrease in confidence over future workloads for December 2011.
The RIBA’s monthly workload index for last month stands at -11, down from -4 in November.
Practices in the south-east of England and in London showed the most optimism about future demand for services, while those in Northern Ireland are the most pessimistic.
The private housing sector shows the most promise for future workloads but public sector and community work remains under pressure.
Adrian Dobson, RIBA director of practice, said: “Our respondents and practices continue to report intense fee competition, restrictions in bank lending and uncertainty over the general economic outlook as their main challenges.
“Of ongoing concern is the disproportionate impact of the recession on employment levels for women working in architecture. The RIBA remains committed to addressing these inequalities through initiatives including the Architects for Change and Women in Architecture groups”