Celebrating women in architecture, their work, leadership, and the pathways created for the next generation
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:
- Get motivated and inspired by the Future Focused video series. Share them from AIA's social media channels (Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook).
- 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.
- 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.
AIA Future Focused - Emily Grandstaff-Rice, FAIA
Emily Grandstaff-Rice, FAIA, is a senior project manager/senior associate at Perkins&Will. As an architect, her portfolio includes work for a wide range of clients. Her most recent projects focus on K-12 and higher education learning environments; she is drawn to them for their ability to change students’ lives and prepare them for the future.
Emily has demonstrated continued and significant service to AIA, including leading the national equity, diversity, and inclusion conversation and serving as the 2014 president of the Boston Society of Architects/AIA. As a former chair of AIA’s Equity in Architecture Commission, she was instrumental in creating the AIA Guides for Equitable Practice. She will use her national platform to advance equity and climate action and effect widespread positive change in the industry.
AIA Future Focused - April Drake
April Drake is a senior project architect with HDR in Arlington, Va. focusing on complex government facilities. With 15+ years of education, government and commercial project experience, April leads multidisciplinary teams through all stages of design. As one of the first 400 African American licensed women in the country, April is passionate and aware of the leadership and encouragement necessary to guide women from graduation to licensure. To that end, she is an active member in the AIA and a committee volunteer for the National Council of Architecture Registration Board (NCARB). After serving two years on the Board of Directors, she is now the 2023 President for the AIA Northern Virginia (NOVA) Chapter, the first African American woman to hold the office. Since 2014, she has volunteered with NCARB on several task forces developing the new ARE 5.0 Exam. She is also Past Chair of the AIA NOVA Women in Architecture Committee, which champions the advancement of women in the profession throughout Northern Virginia, Washington, D.C., and Maryland.
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.
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
Easy-to-read guides that look at every component of your business to support building a more equitable profession.
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.
Check out our EDI content and Women's Leadership Summit virtual series from 2020, 2021, and 2022.
Learn more about our Diversity Advancement Scholarship, and more!
Stay up-to-date with evolving demographics of AIA's membership body.
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.
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.