AIA’s 2016 Report on Diversity

Earlier this year, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) published a report on Diversity in the Profession of Architecture.

The AIA’s report concludes that, while improving, women and people of color continue to be underrepresented in the field.

Contributing Factors

According to the AIA’s survey, the key factors that contribute to the under-representation of people of color include:

  • difficulty affording the costs associated with a degree in architecture
  • few role models in architecture
  • knowledge of architecture as a career option.

The top factors cited for the under-representation of women were related to work-life balance and include long hours that make starting a family difficult and lack of flexibility related to schedules, job sharing, or working remotely.

Both women and people of color say they are less likely to be promoted to more senior positions. Gender and race are also obstacles to equal pay for comparable positions, but this is particularly so for women.


Both women and people of color in architecture would benefit from:

  • industry-funded scholarships
  • mentorship programs
  • clear written criteria for promotion
  • attracting more women professors and professors of color to teach in architecture programs.

According to the report, additional strategies for addressing the under-representation of people of color in architecture could include: outreach to middle and high school students and industry support for the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA).

The top strategies for addressing the under-representation of women in the profession are promoting a change in culture that allows for better work-life balance and increasing options for flexibility.

Read the full report: AIA_DiversitySurvey_2016