- After a 14-month study, the American Institute of Architects' Equity in Architecture Commission has released its recommendations on how to increase diversity in the profession.
- The AIA found that despite women and minorities gaining ground over the last several years, they are still underrepresented. In addition, AIA research found that both women and minorities believe they are less likely to receive the same pay as their non-minority male peers, and half of women surveyed said that their gender will prevent them from achieving their professional goals in the industry.
- The commission suggested several industry "keystones" and advised how they would be affected by improved diversity, equity and inclusion within the architecture profession and set out an "action plan" to increase the number of minorities and women. Some of the recommendations included making diversity a core value of the AIA and creating guides for equitable employment practices.
In November, another AIA study, this one conducted by the San Francisco organization's Equity by Design committee, also reported that women and minorities were underrepresented in industry leadership positions. The study found that women across the profession earned 76% of what men earned for the same positions. This report was in line with previous AIA diversity research, which determined that while both men and women in architecture believe that there is inadequate representation by people of color, the number of men who believe that there is gender inequality in the profession is half that of the women who think so.
Diversity, however, is not just an issue in the architecture profession. Construction has also struggled with inclusion issues, particularly when it comes to women, as they represent only 9% of the construction industry. However, it's going to be critical for the industry to recruit and retain from both minority and women groups in order to secure the sufficient workforce necessary to survive the projected worker shortage. Younger people aren’t as interested in the profession as they used to be, and there is a wave of older workers expected to retire soon, creating a gap in the construction employment pipeline. Without an active, diverse recruitment program, it's doubtful that the labor force will be able to meet future demand.