Register today: The American Institute of Architecture New Jersey Chapter Discusses Equity in Apprenticeship: AXP/IDP/Interns

August 24, 2020

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The American Institute of Architecture New Jersey Chapter Discusses Equity in Apprenticeship: AXP/IDP/Interns


Register for this week’s AIA New Jersey webinar on the African American experience pursuing architectural apprenticeship. Patricia N. Ramallo, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP BD+C & Homes, CPHD, NCARB Senior Manager, Experience + Education, joins the conversation this week. 

According to Architectural Record, the recent NCARB By the Numbers 2020 report, the ninth annual report released by the organization, offers a closer look at demographics and diversity. 

The article by Mirian Sitz notes, “With more detailed demographic information available this year than in the past, the 2020 report showed that fewer than two in five architects are women, and fewer than one in five identifies as a racial or ethnic minority. Women in the profession are more diverse than men at every career stage, with over half who started down the road to licensure in 2019 identifying as a racial or ethnic minority. However, early in the path to licensure, the proportion of Black men starting the experience program exceeds that of Black women, 6 percent to 4 percent. This finding, especially when compared with data from the joint NOMA/NCARB survey conducted earlier this year, suggests “that there may be additional barriers preventing African American women from progressing in the profession,” says the NCARB report.

While NCARB and NOMA will continue to analyze the results of their joint survey—to which some 5,000 professionals replied in full—early results indicate “there is often slight, but widespread, disparity throughout the licensure process and in firm culture,” with women of color and Black professionals particularly affected. 

Two-thirds of African American survey participants reported they could not identify leaders at their firm who are similar to themselves—a sentiment shared by only 26 percent of white respondents—and 40 percent said they have faced or witnessed discrimination in the workplace. Half of all people of color who were surveyed reported that they decided to stop pursuing licensure “while working at an architecture firm”—a proportion 7 percentage points higher than their white counterparts.

Given the disparities in work experiences, NCARB calls the higher level of attrition of people of color “understandable, and potentially preventable,” adding that such findings “highlight the need for culture and systematic shifts throughout the profession.”

In response to the slow increase in architectural professional diversity, new data and comments from academia, AIA New Jersey is opening up a 6 part panel discussion with key community members to look at the African American experience of the past and present and discuss strategies to make improvements for the future. The series has been developed and will be moderated by AIA New Jersey Women in Architecture Chair Libertad Lauren Harris, Associate AIA, in conjunction with the Equity in Architecture Committee. Registrants are invited to attend some or all of the webinars. This series is offered as a free member benefit to all. 



Equity in Apprenticeship:  AXP/IDP/Interns Thursday, August 27th, 7-9PM

Are people of color getting the same opportunities to complete the AXP?  NCARB data indicates that it takes Black or African American people the longest to achieve their license compared with other races. Jon Stewart, the famous comedian, stated he needed to leave his show to give equal opportunities to people of color because typically people hire from their intern base.  If all your interns look like you, then you were not exposing your firm (or yourself) to anyone different than you.

YouTube Video on Jon Stewart’s comments on Internships


  • Lauren Harris, Associate AIA, AIA NJ Women in Architecture Chair

Confirmed Panelists

  • Steven B. Lazarus, AIA, AIA NJ President
  • William A. Moses, Associate AIA, NOMA
  • LoriAnne Jones, AIA, AIA Central NJ Section President 
  • Andrew Thompson, AIA, NOMA, AIA Newark and Suburban President
  • Patricia N. Ramallo, AIA, NCARB Senior Manager, Experience + Education
  • Abigail Benjamin, AIA, AIA NJ Licensing Advisor
  • Brian W. Penschow, AIA, AIA NJ 2021 Vice President

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