Equity Co:LAB was created by an architect to assist architecture firms define and implement strategies that will lead to greater equity, diversity and inclusion in their practice. The time has come to  address the enduring lack of diversity in our profession. Unless we take a look at ourselves, the way we practice, the culture and the existing policies that we have defined and use day to day, we cannot move forward into a more equitable future. This is an opportunity for us to come together on solutions, to test, measure and choose the best path forward for your firm. Addressing this fundamental issue will strengthen the foundation of your company and our field.

  • Organizational Review

  • Targeted Workshops

  • Change Methodology

Kavitha Mathew,  Photo: Sam Lahoz

Increase Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
Upcoming Programs

AIA New York: Guides for Equitable Practice and Beyond

AIA's Code of Ethics includes as one of its standards, that “Members should provide their colleagues and employees with a fair and equitable working environment, compensate them fairly, and facilitate their professional development.” The rule of conduct that follows states: “Members shall treat their colleagues and employees with mutual respect and provide an equitable working environment.”

Architecture as a profession has historically struggled with issues of representation and career advancement for women and BIPOC individuals. AIA has created the Guides for Equitable Practice (“the Guides”) to respond to many of these issues and provide a framework “to overcome inequities and help advance the profession, the careers of individual architects, and the quality of the built environment by creating more diverse, inclusive, and equitable workplaces and interactions.” Architects should work to ensure the health, safety and welfare of those in their workplaces, as well as those in the communities they serve. These tenets go hand in hand as a more diverse and equitable workforce is more likely to be aware of and address the intersectional issues that continue to plague our society. Using the Guides and additional resources, this three-part course will serve as a primer to provide data and research to build a case for equitable practice in the field of architecture. Architects and design professionals are encouraged to attend if they want to develop a foundational awareness of core topics that impact equity, diversity, and inclusion in their workplaces and suggest methods to begin to address them.

Each session to include following: 

  • Tips on how to use the Guides 

  • Terms and definitions 

  • Key takeaways 

  • Case studies 

  • Related resources and data 

  • Interactive Q&A and feedback  

Equity Leader's Think Tank Series

The targeted workshop series is specifically geared towards bringing together equity, diversity and inclusion advocates and leaders at firms to help them with tools to create forward momentum within their companies. It will provide a valuable opportunity to connect people working towards similar goals across different organizations. By focusing on individuals who are already in the mindset of DEI work, whether through employee resource groups or other initiatives within their organizations, by supporting and amplifying their efforts we can accelerate progress throughout the industry.

Leadership Adapted, Culture Updated- 3 Sessions with flexible scheduling options

Workplace culture is based on a set of common values. These values begin with architectural education and are carried into the workforce. Over the past 20 years, ‘studio culture’ at architecture schools has been put under a microscope to reveal a multitude of toxic behaviors that adversely impact the physical and mental health of students. NAAB now requires schools to have a clearly defined studio culture policy that is made transparent and accessible to all as part of the accreditation procedure. This has led to a shift in studio culture and an expectation by students coming out of school into the workforce that the same values will apply. The disconnect when they realize this has not been implemented by firms is jarring, and leads to dissatisfaction and in many cases, young architects leaving the profession.

  • How should firms evolve to meet these new demands?

  • Can analysis and culture shift help with recruitment, engagement, retention, productivity and overall morale?

  • How do you emphasize rigor and commitment while allowing for work life flow?

  • Are outdated cultural values negatively impacting women and BIPOC members of your staff?

  • Do traditional methods of working place you at a disadvantage with your clients?

  • Is it possible to do all of this while retaining the core values and overarching mission of your organization?

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The starting line is wherever you are.

The finish line is as far as you are willing to go.

recruitment outreach hiring pay transparency promotion pay equity flexible hours remote work firm culture employee resource groups safe spaces peer support implicit bias awareness community engagement advocacy  client relationships productivity accountability mentorship cultural competence retention diverse representation