Women in Architecture
Starting in the late 1970s, surveys regarding women in the profession and leadership roles were conducted The numbers were not encouraging. In 1958, 1 percent of registered architects were women. By 1988 that number had risen to 4 percent and to 13.5 percent by 1999. The AIA's 2006 survey of architecture firms reported: "Since the late 1990's, the share of women in leadership roles in the profession has continued to grow. Women principals and partners at firms have quadrupled from 4 percent in 1999 to 16 percent in 2005."
This statement would appear very encouraging, however when compared with the number of female students in US architecture schools then the statistics are not as encouraging. Therefore the Women in Architecture / Women in Design Committees play an essential role in increasing the number of women architects and women principals.
Several AIA components throughout the country have Women in Architecture / Women in Design groups, with the most prominent and active in Chicago, Boston, Kansas City and Virginia. Committees in Florida, Louisiana and Texas have emerged or become increasingly active in recent years due to a grassroots effort by local women architects. Many areas still are behind in establishing groups that can help mentor young women intern architects develop and stay in the profession. Some may be reticent to create a group because they may feel that first and foremost they are architects and there should be no reason to differentiate from all the architects.
Data shows that today almost half of the students in architectural programs in the US are women. This number has increased progressively since the 1970's. However, the number of women that become registered, achieve upper management levels, become partners and own architectural firms has not increased at the same rate or in the same proportion as their male architectural counterparts. Currently only 17 percent of registered architects are women.
AIA National Diversity Council
AIA National's objective is to support a national and international network of women in the profession with the goal to share knowledge, interests, professional advice and support development of the next generation of the profession. Women in Architecture groups want to engage, connect and support all female professionals so that we can raise the profile of women architects; share and promote the design work of women; explore new paths to leadership; and learn from each other.
Mission Statement & Goals
The mission of the Women in Architecture (WIA) Committee is to increase the viability and visibility of women in architecture and in the related design and construction industries.
- Develop and promote women's growth in the profession through sustained activities that provide mentorship, licensure development and networking opportunities that enable women in architecture to reach their fullest potential.
- Create an environment of camaraderie and fellowship for women professionals and students, and to provide an opportunity for dialogue about issues of interest to women within the design community.
- Establish a natural progression, from student to registered architect that will provide leadership in the profession and allow all women architects the ability to give back to the profession and the community.
For more information about how you can be part of AIA Palm Beach's Women in Architecture Program, please click here to send an e-mail to the attention of Committee Chair Denise A. Bas-Arzuaga, AIA.