Associate Annelise Pitts Advances Equity in the Architectural Field

Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, Associate, Annelise Pitts, AIA, recently co-authored an article entitled, “No Architect is an Island: The Agency-Communality Spectrum and the Construction of Professional Identity in Architecture with fellow architect Julia Mandell of Wilson Associates. The article will be published in the upcoming spring Gender Matters issue of THE PLAN Journal (TPJ). TPJ’s mission is to “disseminate and promote innovative, thought-provoking and relevant research, studies and criticism in architecture and urbanism.”

The article builds upon a multi-phase national research project that AIASF’s Equity by Design committee has conducted in partnership with the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA). The latest phase of the project, the 2018 Equity in Architecture Survey, explores the career experiences, perceptions, and ambitions of nearly 15,000 architecture school graduates. The survey was designed to explore differential career experiences on the basis of personal identity and to highlight practices that can help individuals and employers to navigate professional milestones with the ultimate aim of building a more equitable architectural profession and the built environment. In the Gender Matters issue, Pitts and Mandell delve into their research on professional values, perceptions, and roles to explore ways in which gender bias may impact the formation and reception of professional identity in the architectural field.

The abstract for their paper is as follows:

“Findings from the 2018 Equity in Architecture Survey demonstrate that architectural professionals tend to describe their work in terms of personal agency rather than communality. This pattern in architectural practitioners’ work orientations is associated with two major obstacles to achieving equity within the architectural profession. First, the practitioners who are most satisfied with their work are typically more communally oriented, suggesting that architecture’s overemphasis on the professional self may limit potential pathways to positive experiences of one’s work. Secondly, women in the profession face significant bias as they embody the stereotypically agentic professional archetypes of the Creative or the Rainmaker, but are also undervalued when they adopt communally-oriented, but lower status, professional personas. We conclude by proposing two parallel strategies intended to improve professional outcomes by addressing the adverse effects of agency-orientation in architectural practice.”

THE PLAN Journal subscribers can read the article in advance of publication:
No Architect is an Island: The Agency Communality Spectrum and the Construction of Professional Identity in Architecture

Read more about the 2018 Equity in Architecture Survey’s findings and Annelise’s role in developing it:
AIASF Equity by Design Releases 2018 Equity in Architecture Survey Findings

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