Ming Thompson / Atelier Cho Thompson

ARCHITECT's Wanda Lau reports that the AIA San Francisco Equity by Design (AIASF EQxD) committee presented the early findings of its 2018 Equity in Architecture Survey at its fifth sold-out EQxD symposium, held Nov. 3 at the San Francisco Art Institute.

Designed in partnership with the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) and with the input of volunteers and focus groups across the U.S., the third iteration of the biennial survey is the largest data set collected on equity within the profession to date in the United States, aggregating the experiences of 14,360 respondents in every state and across six continents, according to the AIASF EQxD committee.

Broadly speaking, this year’s survey found that female and minority architects and designers earned lower salaries than their white male peers and were less likely to hold positions of leadership. The survey also found that being a primary caregiver pays a price in architecture: Long workdays and uncertainty about employer values correlate with a lower likelihood of job satisfaction and firms are still lackluster in their efforts to implement equitable practices.

Some good news: As compared to the past EQxD surveys, white women have made some moves to close the leadership and pay gaps, “but we're not seeing movement in a positive direction for respondents of color,” says Annelise Pitts, AIA, who spearheaded the EQxD research effort alongside EQxD committee founding chair and AIASF president Rosa Sheng, FAIA; AIASF EQxD co-chairs Lilian Asperin, AIA, and Julia Mandell, AIA; ACSA executive director Michael Monti, Allied AIA, and director of research and information Kendall Nicholson, Assoc. AIA. (Ming Thompson, AIA, of San Francisco–based Atelier Cho Thompson, designed the infographics.)

Read More