The architectural profession nationwide, and in Colorado, has historically been underrepresented by women and minorities.

We recognize that equity, diversity and inclusion are critical to developing a talented, high-performing industry, and we are committed to creating an environment, both within AIA Colorado and the broader architecture profession, that attracts, develops and retains individuals that reflect the clients they serve and the residents of our communities.

The AIA Colorado Board of Directors has made strengthening equity, diversity and inclusiveness a priority for the organization and its members. So far, working together with members, we’ve done the following work around equity, diversity and inclusion:

2017: Adopted the National AIA Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Statement

We use the statement to guide our programmatic and strategic decisions. Adopting this statement in 2017 also led us to create the first-ever Equity, Diversity and Inclusiveness (EDI) Task Force in 2018.

2018: Formed the Equity, Diversity and Inclusiveness Task Force

Following the adoption of the national EDI statement, the AIA Colorado Board formed a task force of 12 members with the following charge:

Address the growing need and demand to promote greater diversity and inclusion within the profession and practice of architecture—both nationally and within AIA Colorado. Research and gather data to inform recommendations regarding how AIA Colorado can educate its leadership and members and uphold and make actionable the institute’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Statement.

The task force researched EDI as it relates to professional and community culture, education and talent pipeline, and compensation and career advancement.

After four months of work and more than 300 volunteer hours, the task force developed a range of short-term and long-term recommendations which were presented to the board in December 2018. The board enthusiastically approved the task force’s recommendations, which included creating a standing EDI committee; continued research; firm outreach; EDI integration in AIA Colorado programs; and creation of resources for members.

2018: Adopted the National AIA Sexual Harassment Policy

Simply, there is no place in the architectural profession for sexual harassment. We were proud to join with members and AIA chapters across the nation to take a stand against inappropriate workplace behavior. See the full statement here.

2018: Shared Member Stories and Experiences with Equity, Diversity & Inclusiveness

We realized that successfully addressing EDI issues must begin with raising awareness. So, we began sharing the stories of AIA Colorado members on our website. Architects with a range of perspectives shared their experiences with parenthood, family leave policies, gender equality, career advancement and more. The series of articles provided a forum for conversation among members and shed light on some challenges within the profession.

2018: Gathered Member Data and Hosted an EDI Meetup at the Practice + Design Conference

The annual Practice + Design Conference is our largest gathering of architects, with more than 600 attendees. The 2018 EDI Task Force used this opportunity to gather member feedback on office culture, gender equality and career advancement through an anonymous survey.

They also hosted a meetup during the conference for members to discuss the issue and ask questions about the task force. It was the most popular meetup of the conference, attended by more than 30 people.

2019: Formed the Equity, Diversity and Inclusiveness Committee

At the recommendation of the 2018 task force, the EDI Committee launched in 2019 with 15 members. The group will spend the year continuing the task force’s research, as well as begin to host member meetups and establish benchmarks to measure the organization and profession’s progress over the next few years. See the committee members here.

Check back for more updates and news as we continue our work to broaden equity, diversity and inclusion in the profession.