On the 16th of August, the AIA New York Women in Architecture Committee, in collaboration with AIA New York and nycoba | NOMA hosted a roundtable on Reinforcing Safe and Equitable Practice dedicated to highlighting resources and strategies towards attaining a positive workplace culture while acknowledging the persistent challenges women and minorities continue to face in our industry. The event was facilitated by Kavitha Mathew, AIA, Founder of Equity Co:LAB.

The attendees responded to the prompt questions prepared by Mathew from three scenarios provided in the AIA Guides for Equitable Practice & Workplace Culture and voiced their own experiences and opinions, measured against the women in the case studies who confronted poignant and disconcerting situations in their workplace. Case studies included “The profession has no room for me,” “Managing cultural expectations,” and “He touched me.” The scenarios challenged us to think about the architectural profession and how certain workplace cultures and values may support and foster systemic injustices. The conversation focused on helping cultivate a healthy, inclusive and equitable workplace culture on matters ranging from training and compliance to mentorship, allyship and fostering trust.

The support resources included a list of AIA workplace guidelines, code of ethics and professional conduct policies, information on HR and mental health issues, training platforms, contacts for mentorship and legal counsel, as well as reporting and complaint forms from AIA, New York City, and New York State.

You can find a compiled list of resources you can share with your peers and colleagues in the industry here.

Dr. Mahtab Moaveni, Psy.D. from the Thriving Center of Psychology, also shared her insights on her consulting services addressing cultural issues, racial trauma, depression, and trauma. Please join us at our monthly meetings, send us an email, or reach out on social media with any thoughts and feedback.