AIA Releases Results of Diversity Survey
Women and people of color report more career obstacles and lower job satisfaction levels.
It’s not news that the architectural profession is demographically skewed. Despite moderate progress over the last decade, women and people of color continue to be underrepresented. However, a report released by the AIA on Tuesday puts these disparities into numbers. The AIA’s Diversity in the Profession of Architecture survey, completed by 7,522 people in 2015, indicates that women and people of color perceive more challenges to career advancement than their male and white counterparts do. Administered via email invitation, the survey was a follow-up to a 2005 diversity study.
According to the report, perceptions of gender balance vary noticeably across gender lines: 69% of women believe that there is gender inequality in the industry, while only 48% of men do. When it comes to race, however, architects across the board agree that people of color are underrepresented in the field. The top perceived factors for racial equality included the high price tag of architecture school and a lack of role models for people of color hoping to enter the profession.
Those who reported that women were underrepresented, meanwhile, identified three top reasons for this: concern about work-life balance, long work hours, and a lack of schedule flexibility. Notably, however, long hours proved to be a strong concern among men as well: just under half of all men reported high satisfaction with their work-life balance, a figure that matches the response from women.
The survey’s results also cast a bleak light on job satisfaction overall: about half of respondents reported high satisfaction with their jobs.