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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?

EQxD's TEDxPhiladelphia Video - Why does Equity in Architecture Matter?

by Rosa T. Sheng, AIA, LEED AP BD+C

 TEDxPhiladelphia 2015 - Why does Equity in Architecture Matter?

TEDxPhiladelphia 2015 - Why does Equity in Architecture Matter?

On June 11, 2013, I made one of the most important life changing decisions, ever. While I was having a pre-midlife crisis and could have easily chose to give up out of hopelessness, fear, and self-doubt, I was asked to present as a panelist at a conference called "The Missing 32%".  There, I met my future champions, who assured me that my career, life and achievements had value worth sharing with others. We collectively agreed to take action in the name of equity in architecture. On that fateful day, I asked many to come to the table to form what would become "The Missing 32% Project" and later evolved into Equity by Design, a committee of AIA SF. On June 11, 2015, I shared the amazing story with an audience of 1200 at TEDxPhiladelphia of what came about during the 2 years since I made the decision to stay in the profession and take action for positive change. There is a lot of work still to be done, and plenty more bites of the whale to go around. But the sight of more people coming to the table with forks in hand is very encouraging and we have a lot more in store for 2016! So grab your fork, watch the video, share with all the architects and non-architects you know. We can make a difference, one bite at a time.

This week, TEDxPhiladelphia is releasing all 14 talks to the public via Youtube. I am honored and humbled to be in the presence of so many amazing people, their work and causes, and their message to the world. Please visit the official website to view them all and please consider supporting future talks produced by this amazing group.