It’s important to raise awareness about the lack of gender diversity within the architecture industry. Results from a recent survey indicated that only a few of the world’s largest firms are being led by women. These figures also revealed that there are very few females being hired for creative director or lead designer positions. So, now is a good time to take stock of your hiring practices, understand inherent bias, and evaluate how diverse your leadership is. Creating a team with more women in leadership roles can improve your firm’s morale and productivity. Here are some other benefits of gender diversity in the workplace.
- Bigger talent pool – Firms that are only hiring men, by design or default, for leadership roles are overlooking half of the population that might be even more qualified for the job.
- More perspectives – Having multiple points of view can be beneficial, especially in the architecture industry, since mixed gender teams are more productive and creative.
- Improved retention and reputation – As we look to grow leaders from the next generation of workers, we need to understand exactly what they are looking for from their employers. For instance, female millennials favor inclusive organizations that have a clear mission and values.
- Sustained, profitable growth – Hiring leaders based on what they can do, rather than gender alone, leads to higher profits.
AIA Women’s Leadership Summit
The upcoming AIA Women’s Leadership Summit (WLS) is an opportunity for women leaders in architecture and design to gather and share ideas and experiences. This year’s event is scheduled for September 12 – 14, 2019 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Women from across the industry will gather in a professional setting to discuss the challenges that they are facing that range from getting promoted to gaining respect on a construction site. Additional goals of the WLS are to raise the profile of women in the profession, explore new paths to leadership, create a learning environment that supports the needs of multiple career stages in one event and to provide a space for women architects to learn from one another. There are some prestigious leaders from the industry speaking this year including the host of Design Matters, Debbie Millman. The keynote will be given by the founder of the boutique advisory firm Thrive Labs, Priya Parker.
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