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Equity in Design

Recent and more frequent reports about the low percentage of women active in leadership roles in the architectural profession has inspired research, initiatives, and firm-led efforts both globally and nationwide. These efforts have generated further discussions, research, analysis, and identification of actions to educate and promote gender equity. Many of these initiatives have directly benefited all employees of participating firms by offering flexibility in the workplace.

A narrated video, EQiA 2016 Key Findings – Presentation Video, was released by AIASF’s Equity by Design Committee early this fall. The video highlighted key findings from the 2016 Equity in Architecture Survey, which was distributed internationally via the Equity by Design website: http://eqxdesign.com/.  If you were an AIA member last year or worked for one of the firms sponsoring the survey, you probably remember answering questions from this survey. The key findings focus on two areas of career experiences:

  1. Career Dynamics, factors that affect career perceptions:
    • Finding the right fit
    • Professional development
    • Pay equity
    • Work-life Flexibility
    • Beyond architecture
  2. Career Pinch Points, personal and professional milestones that may hinder career progression or influence decisions to leave the field:
    • Education
    • Paying dues
    • Licensure
    • Working caregivers
    • Glass ceiling

The “EQiA 2016 Key Findings – Presentation Video” is available as a public resource for viewing and sharing. Organizations and firms sponsoring the research are encouraged to share the video with their members, and to introduce their own launch of initiatives to encourage equity in design at each office.

Locally, AWA+D’s 50:50 Initiative, started in 2014/2015, invites design firms to commit to developing a 50 male:50 female ratio in their professional organizations by 2020. Eight firms have signed the commitment to the initiative. Many of the 50:50 Initiative’s goals are similar to the Key Findings identified in the EQiA presentation video. For more information about AWA+D’s 50:50 Initiative, see:

Awaplusd.org/5050-initiative/

Stay tuned for updates on the 50:50 Initiative’s progress in future blog posts.


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