Newsletter | May/Jun 2015

Equity in Architecture at 2015 AIA National Convention

by Rosa Sheng

Dear OWA Members,

We are very excited to share recent events from AIA National convention and beyond that are paving the way for Equity in Architecture.

The disparity and inequity for women in architecture has been a long journey and likely very personal for many of you. Our longstanding goal has been to spread awareness and engage discussion between women and men about the systemic challenges for talent retention in Architecture. The publication of the research findings coupled with the active discussion of the Symposium and workshops both locally and at AIA National convention have resulted in positive feedback and steps towards change.

Current AIA President Elizabeth Chu Richter was a true champion by asking the Equity question of Bill Clinton first and being an advocate for getting workshops and seminars as part of the AIA CEU convention curriculum. We had great attendance for all events that we participated in. Both women and men attended the Hackathon and the 2 Work/Life Flex workshops.

The most invigorating affirmation was the passing of Resolution 15-1 Equity in Architecture with 4117 delegates voting YES, and less than 200 as no or abstaining. In the coming months, I will be working closely with AIA National Staff to assemble recommendations and action plan for the Equity in Architecture Commission and goals for the coming year. I look forward to reporting progress as we proceed.

There are invariably many resources and conversations happening. Our 2nd EQxD "U" Workshop event was just held at AIASF (June 11) on the topic of work-life flexibility challenges and solutions, with 4 panelists of diverse backgrounds and levels of experience leading discussion of our survey report findings on work/life flex topics, followed by small group discussion on specific topics and ideas for solving the work/life challenges we face today.

I encourage you all to engage with us in the dialogue at our future EQxD "U" workshops for 2015, #3 on August 13 and #4 on October 15. Many people nationally would love to attend or find access to these workshops. We are fortunate to be close enough to engage our Bay Area community and we hope that you will join us.

Warmest Regards,

For more information on EQxD at the AIA Convention, visit our blog, where we tried to capture the highlights from the overall convention as well as a deep dive on the Hackathon from our attendees/teams point of view.

Equity in Architecture final vote, photo Rosa Sheng

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