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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?

10 New Year's Revolutions - A look ahead for EQxD in 2017

Happy New Year Equity Champions!

You were probably getting worried that we went M.I.A and ready to send out search parties for us. Rest assured that we have been here all along - in a short hibernation post-symposium, recuperating, ruminating and strategically planning for the coming year.

And in 2017, rather than making wishful resolutions, let's all engage in real "actions" that foster pervasive, positive, and impactful change in our lives, in our professions, in our society, and in our local communities. Please join us by participating in our New Year Revolutions in 2017! ACT UP!

Revolution #1 - Adopt a Mindset for Equity and Advocate for Equitable Practice

Craig Froehle - Equality vs Equity Meme

Craig Froehle - Equality vs Equity Meme

There is a critical difference between Equity and Equality. Equality is about “sameness” and believing that everyone gets the same “piece of the pie”, regardless of the outcome. Equity is about recognizing differences and individual challenges, while providing just opportunities for all people to have access to success. In short, we all benefit from equitable practice when we recognize that all people have different challenges and needs.


Revolution #2 - Share and Discuss the Equity in Architecture Survey 2016 Early Findings

The Early Findings presentation will be available as a recording of the research team Annelise Pitts and Kendall Nicholson this winter. The results, organized into two frameworks—career dynamics, or the challenges and perceptions of working in the profession; and career pinch points, the milestones that make or break one’s advancement. Moreover, the survey identifies the specific predictors of one’s success in architecture.

Revolution #3 - Attend the EQxD "U" Workshops at AIASF (Quarterly)

Save the Date! The 1st of 4 Quarterly Workshops in 2017 will be Wednesday, February 8th on Disrupting Implicit Bias. Throughout 2017, EQxD will be deep diving into the topics of the Equity in Architecture Survey with Workshops, Blogs, #EQxDChats on Twitter, and other ways to take action and move the needle.

  • Winter - Disrupt Bias
  • Spring - Articulate Values
  • Summer - Chart your Path
  • Fall - Design Culture

Revolution #4 - Attend EQxD Hackathon at AIA's Conference on Architecture in Orlando

"One of the most unique and talked-about pre-convention workshops is back! Join us for a new EQxD Hackathon in its 3rd year of innovation and disruption and explore the intersection of design and tech.

The day will begin with a diverse panel of industry leaders and entrepreneurs discussing future architectural opportunities in the new digital economy. Once you're inspired, the "mini-hackathon" format will let you develop a real plan of action for creating a positive impact on the profession. You’ll leverage your design thinking skills to rapidly prototype radical, actionable initiatives and explore future business models for the architecture profession."


Revolution #5 - Contribute a Blog Post to

In 2017 Action starts with using your voice and is the perfect forum for sharing your story of challenges, triumphs, advocacy for equitable practice, etc. We have an amazing list of past contributors and this year we will be trying to get more voices represented in our INSPIRE% blog series.



Revolution #6 - Become an Equity Mentor & Champion

One of the key factors for success and talent retention in architectural practice is having strong professional mentors and champions. Build a culture of organic mentorship that support people’s passions and unique skill sets. Allow that to feed back into the firm culture. Build relationships with “champions;” Find a Champion, but also be a Champion. Find people that purposefully and conscientiously look out for you (and you for others), to advocate for development and advancement opportunities.


Revolution #7 - Walking the Talk - Advocate for Social Justice in your Design Work.


Join the Design Justice Platform for the pivotal Design as Protest as a Nationwide action, on Friday January 20th 2017, connecting activist, community organizers, architects, planners, designers, and artists, with the direct intention of utilizing our skill set to stand up to injustice, discrimination, and hate. Ultimately, we will use design as a means to speak out in support of the disinherited and marginalized communities at risk during the next administration. 


Revolution #8 - Break Down Silos - Get Connected and Expand your Equity Network

Architects may have mixed feelings about engaging in Social Media. There are trolls and bad things that could happen. But the reward is greater than the risk. In all seriousness, there is an amazing world of connections to be made to forward the movement for equitable practice. You can also strengthen your professional development, building relationships and connections to people who will likely become your future champions. Suggested: Twitter, Linked In, Facebook. 


Revolution #9 - Build Recognition of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Champions

Despina Stratigakos launched a movement in June 2013 in Places Journal with an article titled "Unforgetting Women Architects" . Despina's modern day strategy to undo the effect of women architects being left out of the history books suggested that Wikipedia was the new medium of measuring existence and recognition. Since then, Architexx, Parlour, and N-ails have answered her charge to document notable and inspirational women architects. Write a Wikipedia entry to contribute to the restoration and ongoing legacy. Write about women contemporaries in architecture that you admire. Use the WiKiD guide developed by Justine Clark's Team at Parlour. Collaborate with other groups like SheHeroes.Org to expand the storytelling beyond our profession. Let's expand this recognition to practitioners who are immigrants, people of color and LGBTQ practitioners, etc. the list goes on.


Revolution #10 - Advocate for Pay Equity and Promotions

Less than 40% of EQiA survey respondents had negotiated for a higher salary if they had an unsatisfactory offer. This turned into a popular series of workshops to learn better negotiation skills. I shared an article in AIA YAF Connection in April 2015 that highlights the key components to becoming a better negotiator.  

The other aspect is to ask employers to help root out influences of implicit bias in the hiring, promotion and compensation decision making with real applicable suggestions from Michael D. Thomas, Esq. of Ogletree Deakins