Future Focused

Celebrating women in architecture, their work, leadership, and the pathways created for the next generation

Female diverse faces of different ethnicity seamless pattern.

Women play a critically important role in architecture. This video campaign is about celebrating them and their contributions and impact to the profession and their communities. AIA’s weekly 60-second “Future Focused” video series shares female architects and designers’ favorite work, as well as their leadership, mentorship, and vision they are pursuing for an increasingly diverse and equitable profession.  The videos share the stories of women, men, and firm leaders who are elevating women and changing the profession to make it a vocation of choice for anyone interested in the design field.

Here’s what you can do:

  1. Get motivated and inspired by the Future Focused video series. Share them from AIA's social media channels (Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook).
  2. Use the AIA resources on this page to learn more about how you can make change in the culture of the profession and your communities.
  3. Get involved in AIA, your local component, or in your firm to lead, mentor, and create a welcoming profession for architects and designers of all backgrounds.  

Check out our videos celebrating the work, accomplishments, and leadership of women in the profession; let it inspire you to get involved.  

Jane Frederick, FAIA

Jane Frederick, FAIA, Frederick has held a myriad of leadership positions at the AIA, including serving as the AIA 2019 first vice president; South Atlantic Regional representative on the Strategic Council; at-large director on the National Board; and president of AIA South Carolina. Additionally, she has served on the AIA Small Firm Round Table Executive Committee and NAAB Accreditation teams. She has also chaired numerous local planning boards and is a Liberty Fellow.Her award-winning firm Frederick + Frederick Architects—where she is a principal—in Beaufort, South Carolina, specializes in custom residences and has earned 18 state and local design awards. It was honored with AIA South Carolina’s 2017 Firm Award as well as Southern Living Magazine’s Best Renovation of 2009. She is licensed in South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Florida and Mississippi. She is a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects and also holds LEED AP certification.

Mahbuba Khan,  AIA

Mahbuba Khan,  AIA, is a descendent of public servants in Bangladesh, dreamt of becoming an architect since age 10. After an international architectural career, Mahbuba formed her own practice in 2011 and established a clientele in the local and federal government and private sectors. In 2016, she joined the City of Dallas to manage bond-funded capital projects as a Senior Architect, which allowed her to reach out to residents, craft municipal buildings and park standards, promote sustainability, encourage diversity and improve the quality of life for residents. Her commitment to public architecture was strengthened by a master's in public administration (MPA) degree from the University of North Texas with honors in 2021. In 2022, Mahbuba transitioned to the federal government as a Technical Lead Architect to manage technical aspects of healthcare and community projects by leading architectural and engineering firms in the South Pacific Division.

Alyson Steele, FAIA

Alyson Steele, FAIA, is the CEO and chief design officer of Quinn Evans, Steele has been instrumental in diversifying Quinn Evans and fostering a transparent culture, based on her belief that informed, diverse perspectives serving a common goal improve the quality and relevance of the work. With a leadership style that welcomes insights from diverse employee perspectives, she encourages staff discourse and strong interdisciplinary connections. Steele has overseen major investments in tools that leverage data analysis, simulation, and information management that have enhanced collaboration, design excellence, and productivity. Steele works with museums, landmarks, and historic sites to welcome new audiences and requirements while expressing their essential character; as a result they become stronger, more dynamic, and better connected to their communities. Her design and research efforts center on revitalizing cultural places through stakeholder engagement and inclusive, multisensory experiences. She also works to advance practices in the management and use of geospatial information for planning, design, and stewardship. Steele holds a Master of Architecture from the University of Virginia and a Bachelor of Arts in Urban Studies from Stanford University.

Do you want to learn more so you can promote an inclusive and welcoming culture at your firm?

AIA has developed great resources that can help you get started or keep you on your journey!

Resources to advance equity in the profession

Guides for Equitable Practice

Easy-to-read guides that look at every component of your business to support building a more equitable profession.

Women's Resources

Learn more about our annual premiere event, Women's Leadership Summit. And get other resources to support gender equity.

An Investigation into Bias in the Architecture Profession

A report exploring bias based on gender and race/ethnicity in the practice of architecture.

Continuing Education via AIAU

Check out our EDI content and Women's Leadership Summit virtual series from 2020, 2021, and 2022.

AIA Foundation Scholarships

Learn more about our Diversity Advancement Scholarship, and more!

AIA Membership Demographics

Stay up-to-date with evolving demographics of AIA's membership body.

Career Pathways

Support the next generation of architects with our youth, K-12, and higher education resources.

Resources to advance equity in the built environment

Framework for Design Excellence

The Framework seeks to inform progress toward a zero-carbon, equitable, resilient, and healthy built environment.

Architect's Role in Creating Equitable Communities

A guide for architects to design and advocate for equitable processes and outcomes in projects.

AIA Materials Pledge

Learn how your firm can commit to better product selection that advances the environment, human health, and social equity.

Equitable Development Frameworks

An introduction and comparison for architects to identify the agency architects and designers have in driving valuable change.

More videos

Image credits

Female diverse faces of different ethnicity seamless pattern.