Guides for Equitable Practice

Increasingly, architects will be called to lead efforts in finding solutions to many of our society’s most pressing issues. To meet these challenges, as well as the unknown ones ahead, we must have the talent, passion, and creativity of a diverse cohort of students, professionals, and leaders.

The Guides for Equitable Practice, done in partnership with the University of Washington, the University of Minnesota, and The American Institute of Architects’ Equity and the Future of Architecture Committee (EQFA), are a vital part of AIA’s long-term commitment to lead efforts that ensure the profession of architecture is as diverse as the nation we serve.

These guides will help you make the business and professional case for ensuring that your organization meets the career development, professional environment, and cultural awareness expectations of current and future employees and clients.

Each chapter includes real-world-derived best practices, relevant research, and other tools to help you address a variety of employment and personnel issues about equity, diversity, and inclusion. Each guide begins with a baseline explanation of its topic, conveying the knowledge and language required to have meaningful conversations with individuals at any level of your firm. The user-friendly layout and short, consumable sections are designed so you can find the content you need easily and quickly.

Career and the profession


The guides make the moral, business, ethical, and societal cases for equitable practice in architecture.

Social impact

Intercultural Competence

As architecture becomes more diverse, bias and intercultural competence—the ability to function effectively across cultures—have more impact.

Career and the profession

Workplace Culture

Workplaces are becoming more complex—with new environments, increases in diversity, and shifting roles.

Career and the profession


Architecture’s compensation issues arise from inequitable opportunities, valuation of work, and pay practices.

Firm management

Recruitment and Retention

Attracting and retaining talent is vital for every firm and the profession as a whole.

Career and the profession


This guide outlines skills architects can develop to act inclusively and equitably during negotiations.

Career and the profession

Mentorship and Sponsorship

Mentorship and sponsorship can prove crucial to individuals’ careers, and they can help make workplaces more diverse and inclusive.

Career and the profession

Advancing Careers

This guide details the importance of approaching career advancement as a shared responsibility between employee and employer.

Social impact

Engaging Community

Because the majority of architects’ work affects communities, respectfully engaging with them and adopting solutions created in partnership is imperative.

Career and the profession

Measuring Progress

True support of equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) requires being able to measure progress as a result of individuals’ or firms’ strategies.

Social impact

Justice in the Built Environment

This supplementary edition is intended to help designers convey the opportunities, benefits, and challenges of making justice a deliberate aim of the building process.

Career and the profession

Equity in Architectural Education

Office and school cultures feed and reinforce each other, and long-standing traditions, viewpoints, and biases in academia are strong.

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