Blog %

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?

#EQxDM3 Behind the Scenes: Firm Strategies for Implementing Change

It's October! With less than a month away from AIASF's 4th Symposium - Equity by Design: Metrics, Meaning & Matrices, EQxD Blog will be featuring "behind the scenes" interviews with the facilitators of the Symposium Break Out Sessions for Career Dynamics and Pinch Points. Nicolette Mastrangelo, AIA shares her insights on working with the Thought Leaders to shape this Career Dynamics session.

Equity in Practice: Firm Strategies for Implementing Change.


Recognizing that the individuals who make up a firm are its most valuable asset, many of today’s top firms, large and small, have made strides towards building more equitable workplaces in order to sustain lasting and competitive businesses. Four professionals in the industry will discuss specific strategies related to flexibility, performance review and promotion, recruitment and retention, and mentorship/sponsorship and advocacy. They will examine successes and lessons learned, and how these strategies can be implemented in order to positively influence equity in the profession of architecture. 

Thought Leaders and Facilitator:

Why were you interested in being a facilitator?

Nicolette Mastrangelo, AIA - Facilitator 

Nicolette Mastrangelo, AIA - Facilitator 

As a young architect, I am passionate about issues of equity in the industry. My peers and I confront a sort of systemic change beginning to happen day in and day out at our firms and in our work. We are not only involved in the discussion but actively seeking out ways to participate in and shape innovative practices. The opportunity to collaborate with industry thought leaders on the subject immediately appealed to me. These women have some amazing stories to share and lessons learned. I’m hoping to share some of my own unique thoughts on how the association — in addition to employers and employees — can help shape the future of best practices and policies in the equitable architecture office.


How have the Career Pinch Points and/or Dynamics informed your session? 

The equity pinch points and dynamics act as a road map for what firms can do and are doing. When firms recognize the individual needs of employees at different stages in their careers, leadership can respond and address a variety of situations. A one-size-fits-all solution is not an equitable approach. Firm leaders need to drop the mantra, “If we did it for you, we’d have to do it for everyone.” Pluralism is the future of equitable architectural practice and the key to understanding the demographics within your firm (age, gender, leadership, etc.).  


Are there any a-ha’s that emerged from the process of working with your team?

There is an untapped outlet for advocacy at the association level. In addition to the bottom-up and top-down approaches being explored in architecture offices, the association could have significant advantages in influencing the entire AEC industry by making equity in practice less about changing individuals minds and more about changing systems. 


AIASF Equity by Design Symposium Sponsors

Special thanks to our amazing sponsors for their dedication and support. We look forward to seeing you there!