Equity in Architecture Survey 2018

In marking the 5 year anniversary celebrating the group’s work, Equity by Design will conduct its third national survey. Building upon lessons learned in 2014 and 2016, the survey will raise the goal to reach 10,000 responses from architectural graduates and professionals across the nation.

Equity in Architecture Survey 2018

Life of an Architect - Infographic by Ming Thompson, Atelier ChoThompson

Life of an Architect - Infographic by Ming Thompson, Atelier ChoThompson

The 2018 Equity in Architecture Survey was designed in partnership with the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture and over 50 volunteers from around the country with the goal of generating a comprehensive national data set detailing current positions and career experiences of architecture school graduates. With the assistance of architecture’s national collateral organizations, AIA components, firms, and academic institutions, survey invitations were sent out to a broad cross-section of the profession.

The resulting data set—the largest ever collected on equity within the profession—documents the experiences of 14,360 individuals representing all 50 states and nations on six continents. This unprecedented collection of professional voices is the testimony that allows us to build a deeper understanding of our strengths as a profession, and to gain insight into the critical work needed to provide each individual within our field with opportunities to thrive and to make a lasting impact within the communities that we serve.

Project Overview and Goals

As the largest and most comprehensive study launched nationally to date on the topic of talent retention within Architecture, the 2018 Survey resulted in analysis of 14,360 completed responses to over 130 questions with the potential to impact architectural practice nationwide and establish a legacy data set over previous years’ studies in 2016 and 2014. The 2018 survey asked questions of Architecture School Graduates in the United States about their professional experiences, backgrounds, and aspirations based on the following categories:

  • Individuals who are currently working in an architectural practice

  • Individuals who have worked in an architectural practice in the past, but are currently employed in another profession (either in an aligned AEC field or not)

  • Individuals who have worked in an architectural practice in the past, and who are either currently not employed, taking a career break or leave of absence.

The analysis of collected findings focuses on the differential experiences of professionals based on gender, sexuality, race, and ethnicity. In alignment with this year’s Symposium theme, we present three closely related frameworks for understanding how issues of equity impact the lives of architecture school graduates.

  • Voices offers insight into personal and professional milestones that have the tendency to hinder career progression and influence decisions to leave the field.

  • Values explores the personal and collective values that guide us in our careers, and the ways in which the narratives that we shape about our professional worth influence our professional experiences.

  • Vision enumerates the ingredients of a satisfying career in architecture by detailing the key components of our career perceptions, and the ways in which individuals and firms can positively influence workplace culture and project outcomes through the lens of equitable frameworks.

EQIA Essential Resources -

What does the data tell us? How do I share it with others?

Due to the complexity of data gathered from this large data set, we cannot share the raw data. However, we realize the importance of disseminating key findings that align with important topics related to understanding the pinch points for talent retention to mitigate future barriers by establishing equitable frameworks.

We have provided the following resource tools that are open source and available for sharing. Each resource is comprehensive in its original format. Full screen view allows you to project resources to larger screen formats. In return - our asks are very simple and best practice -

  1. Acknowledge/Credit the work - always reference the source of key findings discovered through these resources by citing AIASF Equity by Design and Equity in Architecture Survey 2018

  2. Do not COPY or Modify the resources from their original formatting without explicit permission/contacting us first.

  3. If you find these resources useful, please consider future sponsorship so that we can continue to provide them to everyone.

Resource #1 - Key Findings Narrated Slide Presentation

April 20, 2019 - We are please to release the EQIA Presentation Video which includes the key findings that were presented at the 2018 Equity by Design Symposium #EQxDV:Voices, Values, Vision. The presentation is narrated by EQxD Research Chair, Annelise PItts, AIA and ACSA Research Partner, Kendall Nicholson, PH.D. and provides a critical foundation of the data analysis. We encourage utilizing this long awaited resource in the following ways:

  1. Share the Presentation with your company colleagues and leadership / AEC Organization

  2. Host a viewing and discussion of the presentation at your office/organization

  3. Share this resource on social media

Resource #2 Early Findings Report

February 4, 2019 - The Equity by Design Committee of AIA San Francisco is pleased to release our Early Findings Report. This report is available for viewing online. We look forward to issuing a Final Report for online viewing and publication later in 2019.

Resource #3 - Key Findings Infographics

The infographics below, which were created by Atelier Cho Thompson, serve as a summary of the Key Findings from the 2018 Survey. Please refer to the Early Findings Report for further information. Files of the full size boards that were displayed at the 2018 Equity by Design Symposium can be shared to the hosting organization for your next conference or event.

Media Coverage #EQIASURVEY2018

Purdom, Gwendolyn New Report Shines Light on Gender Gaps in Architecture”, Houzz, March 17, 2019

AIASF Equity by Design Releases 2018 Equity in Architecture Survey Findings, Wanda Lau for Architect Magazine 11.6.2018

The 2018 Equity in Architecture Survey Encourages Industry Soul-Searching, by Lydia Lee for Metropolis 11.13.2018

Project Background

The Equity in Architecture Research Project is an outcome of AIA San Francisco’s 2012 and 2013 sold-out symposia called The Missing 32%. Formed from the desire for sustained discussion about equity in architectural practice, these events produced a commitment to change the status quo for all architectural professionals  by conducting additional research, publishing equitable practices, and fostering peer-to-peer accountability and collaboration among firms regionally and beyond. Of primary importance is attracting and retaining the profession's best talent pool by providing equitable conditions that empower individuals to succeed.

For More Information Regarding the Survey Please Contact: Annelise Pitts, AIA annelise.pitts@gmail.com

2018 Research and Symposium Planning Team Acknowledgements:

  • Chair of Research - Annelise Pitts AIA

  • Founding Chair, Fundraising,Outreach - Rosa Sheng FAIA

  • Committee Co-Chair Lilian Asperin AIA

  • Committee Co-Chair and Symposium Chair -Julia Mandell AIA

  • ACSA Research Partners: Kendall Nicholson, Michael Monti

  • Infographics: Ming Thompson/Atelier Cho Thompson

2018 Research Sponsor Acknowledgements:

AIASF Sustaining Sponsors, Autodesk, HOK, CannonDesign, HDR, SmithGroup, HGA, Skanska, Mithun, WRNS Studio, McCarthy Building Companies

Project Sponsorship - Thank You to our #EQIASurvey2018 Sponsors!

We were successful in collaboration and participation of the national architecture community. Survey participants were reached through a joint effort by industry associations, including:

  • AIA National & AIA State and Local Components

  • AIAS  American Institute of Architecture Students

  • ACSA  Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture

  • NAAB  National Architectural Accrediting Board

  • NCARB  National Council of Architectural Registration Boards

  • NOMA National Organization of Minority Architects

  • Nearly 50 schools of architecture nationwide

  • Over 130 Architecture Firms ranging in size from sole proprietorships to members of the Large Firms Roundtable