The American Institute of Architects (AIA) is launching Next2Lead, a new program to promote ethnically diverse women into leadership positions within the AIA.
“We are fully committed to addressing racial inequality within our profession and recognize that it must begin within our own organization,” said AIA 2020 president Jane Frederick, FAIA. “By increasing the participation of ethnically diverse women architects in local and national positions of leadership within the AIA, we are creating aspirational role models for others to follow. These leaders are essential to facilitating the critical change the profession needs.”
Next2Lead will provide leadership and experiential education, mentoring, and experiences for 16 AIA members who have a minimum of five years of experience in the architecture field. The program will include individual and group projects as well as conferences.
The pilot program is the first of its kind for the AIA. In an effort to create a program and curriculum of the highest quality, AIA issued a request for proposal (RFP) seeking a consultant who will provide curriculum design, development, instruction, facilitation, communications, assessment, and evaluation. Responses to the RFP will be accepted through Oct 15.
Next2Lead was initiated by AIA Resolution 18-3 which was intended to ensure the AIA is developing education, systems, and processes that are inclusive for the short and long term.
Within the AIA, ethnically diverse women make up only five percent of the total membership and 0.4 percent of the entire profession in the United States. As the most underrepresented demographic of members, few are seen in leadership positions at the local, state, or national levels of the AIA, the organization said in a press release.