For years, there has been a lack of diversity in the field of architecture. Whether attrition numbers have been due to the lack of available information about promotion paths, firm hiring practices, or architects seeking out new career opportunities, this profession is one that has historically been stagnant in its representation. However, there is good news on this subject, as the National Council of Architecture Registration Boards (NCARB) revealed new data which shows that the profession is becoming more diverse and that the proportion of women staying in their careers is increasing.
According to NCARB's recently published By The Numbers report, although equity and diversity in the profession have been improving in recent years, data shows that attrition along the path to licensure remains much higher for non-white individuals. “NCARB has spent the past several years updating and aligning our programs to remove unnecessary burdens while maintaining the rigor needed to protect the public,” said NCARB CEO Michael Armstrong. “A key area for us to address is identifying how pinch points along the path to licensure may vary for candidates from different backgrounds.”
Racial and Ethnic Diversity
Over the last year, racial and ethnic diversity continued to improve across early career stages in the profession. Thirty-three percent of new Architect Registration Examination (ARE) candidates and forty-five percent of new Architectural Experience Program (AXP) participants identified as non-white, which is a 3 point increase from the previous year. Individuals completing their AXP record saw a 5 point increase up to 30 percent of individuals identifying as non-white. With this being said, according to the 2015 statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau, 34 percent of the population identifies as either non-white or Hispanic.
Although racial diversity has been slowly improving, candidates who identify as non-white or Hispanic still remain less likely to finish requirements for licensure. Of non-white candidates who started their NCARB record in 2008, 33 percent had completed the core requirements for licensure by 2017, a staggering 15 percentage points less than their white counterparts. In addition, 34 percent of non-white and 27 percent of white candidates have stopped pursuing licensure altogether. This trend has continued in recent years, with non-white candidates approximately 25 percent more likely to fall off the path to licensure.
Women and Men Face Equal Attrition Rates
Gender equity remained steady over the last year, with fewer men and women leaving the profession across all career stages. For men and women just beginning licensure, women accounted for 46 percent of new AXP participants, 42 percent of people eligible to begin their ARE exams, and 35 percent of candidates who have completed the core requirements for architecture licensure. While the percentage of new certificate holders who are women dropped to 32 percent last year, the percentage of the total number of certificate holders who are women rose to 20 percent, resulting in the third consecutive year of growth in gender equity.
Eligible candidates who began their NCARB record in 2008, 32 percent of women and 27 percent of men have not completed the path to licensure. According to NCARB's report, although women who began their records in more recent years are still less likely to have completed licensure requirements, they are also less likely to have stopped pursuing licensure overall- a positive sign that we will see more women who are licensed architects in the future.
News via: NCARB