Title: Diversity Pipeline and National Representation
Sponsor: AIA Georgia
David Southerland, Executive Director, AIA Atlanta and AIA Georgia
Kathryn Bedette, AIA, 2018 President, AIA Georgia
Intent: To support the Institute’s commitment to diversity and inclusion by calling for the implementation of a plan to develop a national leadership pipeline of ethnically diverse women candidates for national governance positions.
Resolution: Be it resolved, that the AIA will create and implement a plan to partner with local and state components to actively identify, prepare, recruit and encourage a range of ethnically diverse women to pursue election/service on the National AIA Board of Directors and AIA Strategic Council.
Read the Updated Resolution
Resolution 18-3: Diversity Pipeline and National Representation, sponsored by AIA Georgia, passed with 4266 voting yes and 204 voting no (with 87 abstentions). Asserting a need for a national leadership pipeline of ethnically diverse women candidates for positions on the Institute Board of Directors and Strategic Council, this resolution called for a plan to support the Institute’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. The delegates voted down an amendment that would have changed the resolution’s language to refer not only to ethnically diverse women, but to all ethnically diverse individuals. The resolution was amended, however, to require that the Board and Secretary present a plan for action by delegates at the 2019 AIA Conference on Architecture in Las Vegas.
Last year’s Diversity and Inclusion Statement committed that “The American Institute of Architects, as a part of the global community, champions a culture of equity, diversity, and inclusion within the profession of architecture”. AIA Georgia strongly supports this statement and recognizes that to champion is to take action.
Resolution 18-3 offers one step in that direction by calling for the creation of a leadership development pipeline of ethnically diverse women candidates for election and/or service on the national AIA Board of Directors and Strategic Council. The goal of this request is twofold: to increase inclusion in positions of leadership and to, thereby, make more visible and accessible the many aspirational role models in our profession available to ethnically diverse female college students and emerging professionals.
AIA Georgia sees this resolution as one of many steps that will contribute to greater diversity and inclusion within the profession of architecture. Moreover, it’s in the long-term interests of all AIA membership to identify, encourage, and recruit talented individuals to pursue leadership in the profession.
Beyond these goals, the following elements provide further context and benefits of this resolution:
- This resolution will not create any “reserved” spots for any group. This is not a quota program.
- Any individuals who choose to pursue regional or national leadership will still need to obtain those positions by conforming to the election/selection process associated with their bylaws. All this resolution asks of the Institute is to identify, recruit and encourage talented minority women to pursue higher levels of leadership. Personal initiative is still a requirement for leadership positions.
- The data in the resolution’s supporting statements lean towards African American women. This is because it is the most readily available information and serves to exemplify the larger case. While it is clear that all minority women have been dramatically underrepresented on the national Board over the last 25 years, statistics in the profession are hard to come by. Generally, our organizations (including the ACSA and NCARB) collect data on both gender and ethnicity, but not on the combination of the two.
- The broader goal is also to encourage local and state chapters to develop their own leadership pipelines, which is necessary in order to find talent for national and regional positions.