NCARB is committed to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the architecture profession through our work as a regulatory organization. Public health, safety, and welfare is ensured more effectively when architecture professionals reflect the communities they serve—in terms of race, ethnicity, and gender, but also age, disability status, background, and other factors. Here are some of our current initiatives to foster a more inclusive architecture profession.
NCARB is proud to have a diverse staff who are subject-matter experts in their given fields, and we’re dedicated to ensuring that all staff have access to growth opportunities. Learn more about the members of our management team. Here’s how we’re encouraging EDI for our employees:
- IDEA Work Group—Our Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Agility (IDEA) Work Group is a staff-led effort. By offering opportunities for discussions, resources, and plans for formal DEI training in the near future, the work group is ensuring that staff are having essential conversations and access to the tools they need to grow.
- Compensation, Promotions, and Structure—To further ensure equity at every level of the organization, our Human Resources team recently conducted an audit of our compensation packages, with a review of our promotion process and management structure planned for the near future. Their findings will inform necessary changes to combat any effects of implicit bias in our internal systems.
- Community Impact—We have also committed ourselves to the pursuit of new approaches that will deploy our voice to impact our local DC community through service, volunteering, and beyond.
Volunteers and Leadership
In recent years, NCARB members, leaders, and other volunteers committed to encouraging greater diversity in our volunteer community.
- Leadership Pool—To serve on NCARB’s Board of Directors, you must be currently serving on or have recently served on a U.S. architectural licensing board. NCARB is proactively connecting individuals interested in serving on licensing boards with their state governor’s office and informing interested individuals when positions on state boards become available.
- Volunteer Pool—Each year, hundreds of volunteers help shape our programs and services. Ensuring the diversity of our volunteer pool is essential to making sure our programs don’t establish unnecessary barriers for underrepresented groups. NCARB is working to open up and promote our annual call for volunteers to reach a wider audience and ensure this essential diversity.
- Diversity Collaborative—Our Diversity Collaborative explores research and recommends strategies to increase the diversity of NCARB’s governance—focusing on regional and national leadership—to ensure that the organization fully represents the diversity of the population it serves.
One of the core ways NCARB impacts the profession is through the development and administration of the Architectural Experience Program® (AXP®) and Architect Registration Examination® (ARE®).
- Program Audit—With the help of an independent auditor, NCARB is working to assess unconscious bias and disproportionate impediments on the path to licensure for candidates from underrepresented groups. With the help of data from our NCARB by the Numbers report and other data initiatives, we are making informed decisions about the ongoing evolution of our programs.
- Baseline on Belonging Study—In addition to the independent audit, findings from our Baseline on Belonging study conducted in partnership with the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA) will help inform potential changes to our programs and services to address areas of disparity.
- Analysis of Practice—Our ongoing Analysis of Practice, which is used to guide the ongoing evolution of our programs and the path to licensure, is exploring how shifts in practice and regulation can meet the challenges and opportunities of the future. Combined with the studies outlined above, results from the Analysis of Practice will help guide NCARB toward a more equitable, inclusive future.
- Name and Pronouns—NCARB is working to ensure our Record services are inclusive for all individuals, including those who are nonbinary or transgender, by introducing optional pronouns, additional gender options, and chosen first name fields.
Beyond our work to address DEI within our own programs and services, NCARB is committed to being a voice for change in the profession.
- Partnership With NOMA—As an official NOMA partner and sponsor, NCARB looks forward to future efforts to promote diversity and combat racism within our profession.
- Raising Awareness—We are dedicated to raising early awareness of architecture as a career option with children of all backgrounds. In partnership with other leaders in architecture, we launched new resources for 5-12 students and guidance counselors.
- Data and Thought Leadership—Through publications like our annual NCARB by the Numbers report, we provide the profession with essential data on diversity and representation in the profession. By using this data, we can all work together to make informed decisions to advance DEI in our communities.