Atelier Cho Thompson courtesy AIA San Francisco Equity by Design Committee

AIA San Francisco’s Equity by Design (AIASF’s EQxD) committee has released early findings from its annual 2016 Equity in Architecture Survey. The results point to a few problems in the field, particularly the under-representation of women and minorities in leadership roles and a clear gender pay gap regardless of one’s experience and title. The survey also looks at the specific predictors of one’s success in architecture, the challenges and perceptions of working in the profession, and the milestones that make or break one’s advancement.

ARCHITECT senior editor Wanda Lau presents some of the key findings:

  • The fewer the number of years of experience, the more diverse the respondent pool, suggesting a tide of diversity is making its way into the design pipeline.
  • The survey found that the top reasons for accepting a job included the quality of the employer or firm’s projects, opportunities for learning, and firm reputation. At the other end, the most common reasons for leaving a job were better opportunities, lack of advancement, and low pay.
  • From the outset, women are nearly 20 percent less likely than men to want to lead a firm. Men who reported adeptness with negotiation skills and women who highlighted their creativity and design skills were most likely to aspire to be a firm partner, principal, or owner.
  • Among all respondents, the average annual salary of women in architecture was 76 percent of that for men: $71,319 as compared to $94,212. (The national average among all industries is typically reported to be between 78 percent and 82 percent.)
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