The American Institute of Architects, with love for both science and art of architecture, is an organization known to make its fair share of contributions to the greater good. It uses education, outreach, even sustainability research which includes redevelopment and reinforcement of previously-built structures, as means to build not just better structures but also a better tomorrow.
The AIA know, and remind others, that safety, sustainability, and social responsibility can start with brilliant design. Hidden in plain sight, among its abundance of contests and awards to recognize exceptional talent in the architecture world, is AIA’s deep care for and interest in women in the industry.
Across many industries, it’s still easy to confer to the old adage, “It’s a man’s world.” In the architecture design industry, this can almost feel like an understatement. The industry clings to a growing 20-27% female population. Deeper than that, about one-third of one percent of architects in the United States are black women. Women in the industry who believe their performance and career needs are taken seriously are also scarce.
Not only does the AIA include women in their awards and recognition, which can include grants into the hundreds of thousands of dollars, but also their Architect magazine includes women-centric statistics in their metrics and performs special interviews for all-female articles addressing the effects of pregnancy, parenthood, and even simply being female in the industry, which impact women so distinctly that they often must move out of large corporations to start their own companies if they wish to advance and maintain a sense of self, as men are still promoted dramatically more often into positions of responsibility than women. Architect also includes metrics and analysis on the differences in operations for a smaller firm versus a larger one, as to help enable men and women alike in their decision-making process as to proceed based on how clients have been known to respond to their type and size of business.
The AIA has included the uplifting of women in architecture as part of its mission to unite and elevate the industry. The AIA recognizes that community is not just about buildings, streets, and access; community starts with family. AIA helps give women in architecture a voice in the hopes to help promote work-life balance, higher pay, and perhaps most importantly legitimate respect for women in the workplace.
Learn more about American Institute of Architects: http://conferenceonarchitecture.com/