After a tumultuous year facing protest over lack of female speakers at their annual conference, the CEO being denounced over supporting then presidential-elect Donald Trump's initiatives, and continual scrutiny over lack of inclusiveness and diversity, it seems as though the American Institute of Architects is finally making some positive strides. A D.C. based non-profit licensing organization, the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) collects data annually on gender and racial demographics within the U.S. database of licensed architects; and the latest numbers are in.
"The biggest takeaway? The profession is making modest, if slow, gains. Nearly two in five new architects in the U.S. are women, NCARB reports, and the number of new architectural license candidates of color rose slightly in 2016, to about 30 percent of total candidates" states recent Curbed article. The industry members seem to be acutely aware of these shortcomings, however, with peers in the profession acknowledging that "making professional opportunities available to a boarder base of architecture students must be a priority for the industry."
In the last census, African Americans made up 13 percent of the total U.S. population, and only 2 percent of licensed architects in the U.S. identify as African-American (according to the National Association of Minority Architects). However, the report released earlier this week by NCARB states that, "for the first time since NCARB began collecting demographics data, gender equality improved along every career stage - including gaining professional knowledge... racial and ethnic diversity is also increasing among licensure candidates, although at a slower pace."
It has been undeniably proven that "race is inextricably tied to socioeconomic issues and gender representation;" and those in the industry are the first to admit that there is a lot of work to do to create real progress. Want to know more? Learn more about the progress (and lack thereof) from those who know firsthand.