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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?

Defining Success: Early Results - Equity in Architecture Survey '14

Survey Says:

The Missing 32% Project launched the first Equity in Architecture Survey from February thru March 2014 as part of a multi-year research study to promote discussion and inspire change within the profession.  Nearly 2,300 respondents from the local and national architectural community contributed to the research effort that has helped to provide a candid look into the status of the profession and the challenges that must be addressed to preserve its value and relevance for future generations.

Infographic Design by Ming Thompson of Atelier Cho Thompson

How do you define success?

Our first Infographic illustrates the overall respondent demographics, including gender and age, as well as a compelling look the topic of what constitutes a successful career. Our preliminary survey finding compares how different groups answered the question "How do you define success in your career today?" Those working in traditional firms, sole practitioners, and architectural graduates in divergent career paths represent the 3 groups.  Out of 16 possible answers asked, all groups (with men and women nearly equal) selected 3 prominent factors over the rest;

  • Work/Life Flexibility
  • Working on projects of personal and professional significance
  • Working with a positive, talented, collaborative team.
  • (Social Impact / Making a difference was a close runner up).

Not surprisingly, architectural sole practitioners valued "Work/Life Flexibility" as the highest factor; while those working in traditional firms and divergent career paths had selected "working with a positive, talented and collaborative team" as their top choice. Some of the remaining answers that were infrequently selected include: positive client relationships, positive project outcomes, earnings commensurate with experience/achievements, job title/status and recognition by the design community. 

These results are based on preliminary findings conducted by our research team from Mills College, with Infographic provided by Atelier Cho Thompson. We look forward to sharing other key outcomes of survey findings at Equity by Design on October 18th. Join us! You can register for the event here.