February 21, 2021Reading Time: 4 minutes
According to Architectural Record, the 2020 NCARB By the Numbers 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 opened up a panel discussion with key community members to look at the African American experience through six phases along the path to professional practice. The series has been developed and moderated by AIA New Jersey Women in Architecture Chair Libertad Lauren Harris, Associate AIA, in conjunction with the Equity in Architecture Committee. Ms. Harris prompted an investigation of the past. present and future experiences and encouraged the panelists to suggest strategies to make improvements. This series is available on the AIA NJ YouTube Channel, offered as a free member benefit.
By Stacey Ruhle Kliesch, AIA, AIA NJ Advocacy Consultant | Posted in AIA-NJ News, Diversity, EquityInArchitecture, Uncategorized | Tagged: #AbigailBenjaminAIA, #AfricanAmericanArchitects, #Architecture, #Belonging, #BlackHistoryMonth, #BrianPenschowAIA, #diversity, #equity, #Inclusing, #LibertadLaurenHarrisAssociateAIA, #MonicaPoncedeLeon, #OnDemand, #StaceyRuhleKlieschAIA, #WilliamAMosesNOMAAssociateAIA, #WilliamMBrownIIIFAIA, #YouTube, Architect, BHM, ncarb, NOMA, Princeton | Comments (0)
Architects are creative professionals, educated, trained, and experienced in the art and science of building design, and licensed to practice architecture. Their designs respond to client needs, wants and vision, protect public safety, provide economic value, are innovative, inspire and contribute positively to the community and the environment.