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Architects: take a serious look at your demographics. While other professions are making strides to represent the diversity of America's population, yours lags markedly behind. Most U.S. architecture schools began admitting women and minorities between 1965 and 1972, but many who completed architecture degrees in the interim haven't yet received professional licensure. The ranks of licensed architects remain mainly white and mainly male, which denies society fair representation in shaping the built environment. Consider that African-American females comprise roughly 7% of the U.S. population but less than 0.2% of licensed architects; they've achieved proportionally higher success in law, medicine, and engineering. The architecture profession has done little to attract, foster, or retain diverse talent - a problem that both mirrors and exacerbates the profession's detachment from general society. To mend gaping disparities, the profession must take serious stock of its practices. It must acknowledge and eliminate numerous invisible barriers that deter talented "minority" designers from crossing into the Promised Land of Architectural Registration.
CHANCE, S. M. (2004). Architectural registration and its diversity vortex. Crit: Journal of the American Institute of Architecture Students, 58, 36-40. Originally published online in 2004 as an entry in Archvoices competition.