September 8, 2020
Join fellow AIA New Jersey members for this week’s webinar on the African American Experience with the ARE.
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.
It is theorized that having test question writers from only one population of people makes test-taking a roadblock for people of color. We will explore the LSAT lawsuit about accommodations and re-writing the questions. Also, what does Barbri get right about helping students whose English is a second language or people of color when it comes to helping people pass the Bar Exam.
We will explore the comments from the Dean of Architecture at Princeton University and her theories that licensure is a roadblock to equity in the Architecture industry. We will explore ways to increase diversity at the leadership level of our licensing organizations and its effects on the lack of diversity of licensed architects.
Outline: We will explore why many people of color receive their first break in an MBE or government entities where diversity is celebrated or required. We will explore the failures of private firms to achieve equity on their own terms. We will explore policies that AIA can put in place to encourage diversity. We will explore what equity is in real terms. What is the diversity of the community and the state, and what would/should a “good” representation look like. We will explore the salaries of people of color and how architecture has a real problem course correcting.
By Stacey Ruhle Kliesch, AIA, AIA NJ Advocacy Consultant | Posted in EquityInArchitecture, Uncategorized | Tagged: #Barbri, #diversity, #EDI, #equity, #Inclusion, #LSAT, #WIA, IDP / ARE, ncarb, NOMA | Comments (0)
Architects are skilled professionals who listen to you, interpret your wishes, help realize your building dreams, and add value at every stage of a project.