Sign In, Renew, Sign Up

Search AIA

Search AIA Go

About The AIAPrograms & Initiatives

Page Tools

Reed Insight and Community


AIA Diversity and Inclusion > Tools for Firms > Developing the Pipeline

Developing the Pipeline
By Sherry Snipes
Director, AIA Diversity & Inclusion

Why is the pipeline continuum important?

The world around us is diverse, the market place is diverse . . . however, compared to the marketplace and U.S. population; demographics of the profession are not comparable. The compelling case for pipeline development starts with current figures for the profession generated from March 2009 analysis of AIA membership.


  •  14% licensed female architects   
  •  1% licensed architects identify as African-American
  •  5% of licensed architects identify as Asian/Pacific Islander
  •  3% licensed architects identify as Hispanic


  •  22% of Associate members are women
  •  3% of Associate members identify as African-American
  •  6% of Associate members identify as Asian/Pacific Islander
  •  7% of Associate members identify as Hispanic

2009 AIA Firm Survey

  • Women accounted for 17% of firm principals and partners, up from 16% in the 2005 AIA Firm Survey.
  • Racial and ethnic minorities accounted for 11% of firm principals and partners, up from 8% in 2005.
  • Of licensed architects in firms, women accounted for 20%, the same level as in 2005; racial and ethnic minorities accounted for over 18%, up from 11% in 2005.

When these figures are compared to the demographics of the U.S. population ( one begins to see the reasons for continued and dedicated focus on pipeline development. To be more specific development of a diverse pipeline.

When we add diversity of career opportunities for graduates into the equation (e.g. career tracks in education, graphic design, construction and other design careers), the sum total is a potential shortage of talent.

Hence it requires the efforts of the village of this profession to engage youth at an early age, ensure they develop core skills to get accepted into architecture programs and become practicing architects. Many firms and AIA Components and education institutions have phenomenal existing programs that provide mentors, scholarship opportunities, summer camps, after school program, competitions and other technical programs. Our opportunity is to create a rolodex of these programs to:

    1. Determine the programs that are working (measurable)

    2. Scale the programs that are effective

    3. Communicate successful programs to others and make them scalable and available for others entity’s to implement.

If you have a program that you would like featured on this site, please email your link and/content to

Member Programs: KidsBuild! - BSA

Held seven times since 1992, the Youth Visions Committee of the Boston Society of Architects has hosted KidsBuild!, a program that gives children and families the opportunity to build a kid-sized city out of boxes and other donated materials. KidsBuild 2009 was held May 29 – 30 at The Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston. Read more about this popular family program.


Additional Pipeline Development Resources

Articles of Interest

Making the Most of Your Firm's Millenials

Tethered Millenials: Training the Next Generation

KKE Architects: Architectural Youth Program – Minneapolis, MN

Citizen Schools Mentorship

Phelps School Shadow an Architect

The Teaching of Student Builders

Related Web Sites

AIA Architecture Education Scholarships and Resources

N.O.M.A. (National Organization of Minority Architects)

Architecture and Design High Schools
Charter High School for Architecture and Design

Construction Careers Center

Design and Architecture Senior High

Henry Ford Academy: School for Creative Studies

The John Hay High School of Architecture and Design

New Design High School

OBC Academy for Architecture, Construction, and Engineering

Phelps Architecture, Construction, and Engineering High School

Priestly School of Architecture and Construction


Footer Navigation

Copyright & Privacy

  • © The American Institute of Architects
  • Privacy