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News > Equity + Justice > Acknowledge the Continuing Inequity

Acknowledge the Continuing Inequity

A message from your WIA Committee.

As we enter into Women’s History Month, and observe International Women’s Day, it is vital that we celebrate and renew our commitments to supporting our fellow professional women in architecture! But as we honor these individuals, we must also acknowledge the continuing inequity within the architecture field by following the facts. Although, “in 2019, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) reported that more than half (57%) of the students enrolled in higher education across the United States identified as female,”1 when entering the professional space, the percentage of women in the field drops to about 23%. And that number decreases even more when there is a deeper look into the disparity between women of color and white women: in 2020, NCARB and the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA) conducted a study, Baseline on Belonging, that dove into and identified the obstacles that minority professionals face on their path to licensure. 

If we continue to follow the facts year to year, we’re able to highlight the advancements being made towards more equitable practice. Data collected from a study of gender balance at the world’s top 100 biggest practices2 showed that across senior roles in architecture firms, women accounted for 28% of the positions in 2022, up from 18% in 2017. Similarly, in that Baseline on Belonging report, NCARB found that over the last 10 years, gender representation improved 10% for candidates completing examinations. 

Were these stats surprising to you? If you would like to learn more about gender inequity in the profession see various studies that have been posted below. And if you want to get more involved in uplifting women, The Architectural Review Women in Architecture campaign releases an annual body of selected work promoting equity and equality in architecture and design around the world. These organizations and many more seek to create awareness of inequity and encourage women to fight discrimination. As always, the Women in Architecture Philadelphia AIA committee invites you to attend our frequent events that are open to all women and allies, or to support us by making a donation. 


-Where Are the Women? Measuring Progress on Gender in Architecture 

-NCARB Demographics Career and Licensure 

-Baseline on Belonging 

-Initiatives Promoting Gender Equality in Architecture 

-Women Make Up Just 1 in 5 Top Positions at Biggest Architecture Firms 


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