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

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.

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

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

Media Links #EQIASURVEY2018

Please check back for Key Survey Finding Updates for the Equity in Architecture 2018 Survey. Until then, we will update the links below to include media coverage of the early findings. Thank you for your patience in this volunteer effort.

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

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.

Project Description

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.

The Equity in Architecture Survey was conducted between February 12 to March 16, 2018. The survey was administered within a 5 week period via Survey Monkey by email invitation. The survey results were analyzed by the academic research team per the schedule outlined within the general timeframe between April 2018 – September 2018.

Survey Outreach:

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

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


Thank You to our #EQIASurvey2018 Sponsors!