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There has been much discussion raised about "Why are women leaving Architecture? and more broadly, Why is the profession losing key talent?"  Both women and men practitioners are disillusioned by the myth of work/life balance: Women are grappling with "have it all" expectations of juggling family time with the demands of full-time work.  Men are struggling to support their families solely on an architect's salary and fall back on asking spouses to maintain their jobs. The lack of affordable childcare and high cost of living only magnifies the challenges.  How did we end up in this modern family dilemma? What can we do to improve the situation?

Help design the 2018 Equity in Architecture Survey!

Equity by Design is gearing up for our 2018 Equity in Architecture Survey, and we want your input! This project builds on previous survey research conducted in 2014, and 2016, and promises to set the stage for progress towards equity within the profession in the coming years.

There are a number of ways to get involved:

  1. Members of the Survey Design Committee will become subject matter experts on one or more research topics, and will be the most intimately involved in the survey design process. This group will work closely with the EQxD Research Chair, and the rest of the core committee to review Equity by Design’s research work to date, as well as outside research, to identify research questions within specified topic areas.  Each member of this group will be asked to focus on one-two topics, and will advise the rest of the team on the most pertinent research in those areas. This commitment will last from October-December of 2017, with the possibility of joining the Research Committee for 2018  in January.
  2. Focus Group Participants will participate in one-hour long feedback sessions on one or more research topics of their choosing (see list of topics in the form below). Focus Group participants will be asked to offer their input on research topics and questions developed by the Survey Design Committee. Participants are welcome to participate in as many or as few of these calls as they wish. Calls will be held weekly from October to December of 2017.
  3. The Survey Outreach team will help the core team organize outreach to potential survey distribution partners, including professional organizations, schools of architecture, and firms to encourage these entities to participate in the survey by sharing it with their mailing lists. This group may also assist with promotional efforts including press releases and blog articles. This commitment will last from November of 2017 through February of 2018.
  4. Beta Survey Takers will take the survey approximately a week before it is formally launched, and will then take a follow-up survey indicating questions that were confusing, glitches, etc. As we would like a small, but representative group of Beta Survey Takers from all areas of the profession, not all volunteers will necessarily be asked to pilot the survey. This commitment will last 1-2 hours in late January or early February of 2018.

In addition to these opportunities for participating in EQxD’s research project, there are a number of other ways to get involved. Please feel free to use the form below to let us know if you’d like to be contacted for other volunteer opportunities (symposium planning, communications, monthly meeting organization, etc) as they arise.

We hope that you’ll join us in planning for the next phase of the Equity in Architecture Research Project! Please use the form below to tell us how you’d like to participate.

Name *
How would you like to volunteer? *
How familiar are you with equity research, and the Equity in Architecture research project? check all that apply:
Which of the following research topics interest you the most (select up to 3)?


EQxD Quarter 3 - Charting Your Path

Our next quarterly topic will be a timely discussion about "Charting Your Path", which spans several related areas influencing talent retention. These include - professional satisfaction, aspirations for career progression and professional development, the likelihood of burnout vs. engagement, work/life flexibility and caregiving.

The expression "work–life balance" was first used in the United Kingdom in the late 1970s to describe the balance between an individual's work and personal life.[5] In the United States, this phrase was first used in 1986. Well, it's 2017 and in 30+ years that this term has been referenced, mis-used, and over-used; the quest for a harmonious state of equilibrium between our life and work remains illusive.  Moreover, Work/Life balance - the control and separation of the two sides has become disingenuous given the rapid evolution of technology and connectivity that has blurred the lines of where and how traditional work is being done. 

In the context of equitable practice, the concept of "Charting Your Path" expands the discussion beyond reactionary approaches into channeling our ability to be proactive in problem solving. The key findings from the 2016 Equity in Architecture Survey reveal Career Dynamics and Pinch Points that could pose challenges in your career. By understanding the factors that influence career success, we can explore the skills needed to "prepare and pivot" when difficulties arise. We will also discuss strategies for self-assessment to chart your progress (career mapping) and for being self-aware of how that relates to your personal and professional goals. Finally, we will share active ways to discuss adopting equitable practices in the workplace to minimize barriers and maximize the potential success for all professionals.

The subtopics of this quarter will include:

  • Paying your Dues - Challenges for early career professionals experience in the first 5 years
  • Caregiving - Whether caring for children or others, what are the impacts of reduced workhours?
  • Work/Life Flexibility - Within the Work/Life Dichotomy, how do we reconcile meaningful work and the need for personal restoration?

This week, please join us on, Thursday August 17th at AIASF from 6pm-8pm for our 3rd EQxD “U” Workshop "Charting Your Career Path: Creating a Roadmap for Success", where we will explore the many possible ways to conceptualize meaningful work that does not come at the cost of our personal health, wellness, and happiness. Panelists, Jill Bergman AIA of HDR Inc., and Lilian Asperin, AIA of WRNS will share how they set goals for navigating career goals, pivots and unexpected transitions with graphic mapping tools to guide key decisions.  They will also guide participants in reflecting on their own approach, how it is working for them and re-evaluate areas needing improvement.



EQxD Actions Re-Post - Know your Worth!

Happy Thursday, Equity Champions! This week, we're exploring Pay Equity by sharing findings from the 2016 Equity in Architecture Survey. We'll have another of these articles ready to share tomorrow. As we explore the data on Pay Equity, it's also important to consider the steps that each of us can take to advocate for ourselves and others. Action #9 from our EQxDActions Series offers a glimpse at the steps that you can take to determine whether you're being compensated appropriately, and to negotiate a raise if appropriate. Click on the link below to read more!