American Institute of Architects, San Francisco Chapter

Equity by Design

Image © Danielle Lindsay and Ming Thompson


2016 Symposium: Metrics, Meaning and Matrices

As the fourth installment of the Equity by Design Symposium, this year’s theme- “Equity by Design: Metrics, Meaning and Matrices”- builds upon the last five years of advocacy and sets an exciting path for the next chapter of our journey towards equity in architecture.

Findings from the 2016 Equity in Architecture Survey will be presented through a series of panel discussions. Between these sessions there will be a series of diverse and interactive break-out workshops that encourage participants to engage in meaningful dialogue about their career experiences.

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Session Descriptions


2014 Symposium

On October 18, 2014 AIA San Francisco and the Equity by Design Committee presented its 3rd symposium at SF Art Institute, Equity by Design: Knowledge, Discussion, Action! The day was designed to combine data sharing and learning-by-doing, while experiencing the studio-like environment of the San Francisco Art Institute, one of the city's richest architectural assets. We presented the results of the Equity in Architecture Survey in panel discussions focused in 3 major knowledge sessions: Hiring & Retention,Growth & Development, and Meaning & Influence.

Break-out sessions following the main knowledge session included Hiring & Retention, Growth & Development, and Meaning & Influence.

Our goal was to inspire and empower participants to generate actionable takeaways that will be collected and shared as Equity by Design [EQxD] Best Practice Guides as an open resource to transform the future of the profession.

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2013 Symposium

In June 2013, AIA San Francisco convened leading professionals at CCA to discuss pressing issues within the architectural profession and explore changes necessary to keep future generations of practitioners engaged in the field. During this full day symposium, panelists from a diverse range of firms shared their experiences, insights and strategies surrounding work/life balance, firm culture, communication and negotiation skills, and approaches to leadership.

Attendees discussed what individuals and organizations can do to improve workplace conditions and encourage more women to stay in the profession, as well as different communication strategies to help women strengthen their negotiation skills and better navigate their career paths. Denise Scott Brown made a guest appearance at our Missing 32% symposium and shared her experiences with the audience live via Skype. She encouraged attendees to continue to bring their creativity, determination, and opinions to the conversation. Change requires a cultural shift and society needs to recognize that women also bring a valuable contribution to the business.

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2012 Symposium

On October 13, 2012, leading professionals from around the country gathered to discuss the role of women in architecture in the 21st century. Throughout the day, attendees heard from a broad range of speakers representing different career paths in the profession, from those working for large firms to those choosing to start their own practice.

The day began with a brief overview of statistics that detail the current leadership structure of architecture firms. What defines leadership? Who are the leaders within your firms? Who wants to be the leaders? A panel of inspiring architects shared their individual stories about their path to success and the obstacles they have encountered and overcome to get to where they are today. Attendees were invited to voice their ideas for change in break out sessions and together create an agenda for how men and women can work together to increase the value and talent of the future of the profession.

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Video: The Missing 32%


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