American Institute of Architects, San Francisco Chapter

The Missing 32%

In the United States, women represent about 50% of students enrolled in architecture programs, but only 18% of licensed architects are women. The Missing 32% stems from the belief that the architectural profession must reflect the diversity of the communities, users and clients it serves.

The mission of the Missing 32% mission is to advocate for best practices in the recruitment, retention, and promotion of our profession's best talent in order to expand diversity and inclusion at every level in architectural practice.


2014 Missing 32 Symposium
Equity by Design: Knowledge, Discussion, Action!

Saturday, October 18, 2014, 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
San Francisco Art Institute, 800 Chestnut Street, San Francisco
Registration begins August 4, 2014

Event Summary:

The Missing 32% Project serves as a call to action for both women and men who mutually believe that equitable practice is critical to advancing Architecture as a sustainable profession and a key to communicating its true value to society. Our mission is to understand the pinch points that can occur during career progression and champion best practices for the recruitment, hiring, promotion and retention of our profession’s top talent in order to expand diversity, increase career opportunities and ultimately raise awareness of the invaluable services that Architects provide.

In the beginning of 2014, The Missing 32% Project launched the first ever Equity in Architecture Survey as part of a multi-year research project to promote the discussion and inspire change within the profession. The overwhelming response from the local and national community contributed to a research effort that has helped to provide a glimpse into the status of the profession and the challenges that must be addressed to preserve its value and relevance for future generations.

This year, join AIA San Francisco: The Missing 32% Project for our 3rd symposium that is named for our ambitious mission. Equity by Design: Knowledge, Discussion, Action! will be a day of highly informative and inspiring program to be held at the San Francisco Art Institute, one of the city's richest architectural assets with dynamic and interactive spaces. We will be presenting the long awaited results of the Equity in Architecture Survey in panel discussions focused in 3 major knowledge sessions: Hiring & Retention, Growth & Development, Meaning and Influence. These will set the stage for highly interactive small break-out sessions in a variety of relevant topics and formats where we will use our design thinking skills to problem solve the challenging issues that confront architects, emerging professionals, and firm leadership in empowering and actionable ways to transform the profession.

Sample Agenda (PDF Download) and Break-Out Session Topics:

Hiring and Retention:

  1. You’re Hired! Strategies for a stand-out resume, portfolio and interview.

  2. Designing Culture: Workplace innovations to attract, grow & keep talent.

  3. What's Flex Got to do with it? Win-Win Strategies that Work for Life

Growth and Development

  1. Confidence vs. Competence - Knowing and Leveraging Our Worth.

  2. Negotiation is a Power Tool: Strategies for effective outcomes.

  3. What is your Brand? Why Does it Matter? - A Social Media Boot Camp

Meaning and Influence

  1. Cultivating Leaders: Bridging the Gap from Merit to Success

  2. Multi-Disciplinary Practice: Expanding the Influence of Architecture

  3. From Employee to Entrepreneur: What does it take to succeed?


Get Involved


2013 Missing 32% Symposium

Saturday, June 8, 10:00 am - 4:30 pm
California College of the Arts (Timken Hall)
1111 Eighth Street, San Francisco

In June, AIA San Francisco convened leading professionals to discuss pressing issues within the architectural profession and explore changes necessary to keep future generations of practitioners engaged in the field. During this full day symposium, panelists from a diverse range of firms shared their experiences, insights and strategies surrounding work/life balance, firm culture, communication and negotiation skills, and approaches to leadership.

Attendees discussed what individuals and organizations can do to improve workplace conditions and encourage more women to stay in the profession, as well as different communication strategies to help women strengthen their negotiation skills and better navigate their career paths. Denise Scott Brown made a guest appearance at our Missing 32% symposium and shared her experiences with the audience live via Skype. She encouraged attendees to continue to bring their creativity, determination, and opinions to the conversation. Change requires a cultural shift and society needs to recognize that women also bring a valuable contribution to the business. Click below to learn more about the 2013 symposium.

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2012 Missing 32% Symposium

On October 13, 2012, leading professionals from around the country gathered to discuss the role of women in architecture in the 21st century. Throughout the day, attendees heard from a broad range of speakers representing different career paths in the profession, from those working for large firms to those choosing to start their own practice.

The day began with a brief overview of statistics that detail the current leadership structure of architecture firms. What defines leadership? Who are the leaders within your firms? Who wants to be the leaders? A panel of inspiring architects shared their individual stories about their path to success and the obstacles they have encountered and overcome to get to where they are today. Attendees were invited to voice their ideas for change in break out sessions and together create an agenda for how men and women can work together to increase the value and talent of the future of the profession.

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Video: The Missing 32%


The 50/50 Initiative

To initiate change within the profession, 2013 AIA San Francisco Board President John Kouletsis would like to call upon firms and organizations to support a 50/50 initiative to increase the overall representation and participation of women on architectural award juries, Boards of Directors, and speaker line ups for AIA events. We ask for your support to make these changes and increase the scope of talent at your firm and organization. Click here to sign the petition.