Research Indicates African Americans Lag in Architecture

bc-paul

August 8, 2013

By Dr. Tyra Oldham, LANDsds Sustainable Voice News

In considering sustainability there is a profound connection in the pursuit and development of education, innovation, as well as creativity.  The lag in demographics within an industry reduces the overall voices within the sector that stunts innovation. The research “In Architecture, African-Americans Stuck on Ground Floor in Terms of Numbers” is instrumental finding as new levels of knowledge are required to produce sustainable solutions.

The research claims but is apparent that “Architecture remains overwhelmingly dominated by White males”. The data indicates, “Fewer than 2 percent of the 105,000 licensed architects in the United States are African-American, according to the National Association of Minority Architects (NOMA). Minority architects are rare at blue chip architectural firms and seldom seen in senior management positions at these firms,” reports Diverse Issues in Higher Education.

“Many observers attribute the dearth of minority architects to a lack of visibility and awareness of the profession, the recent downturn in the economy that hit the construction industry particularly hard, as well as a hard-to-shake image that architecture is the preserve of White males.”

It is not only visibility but the overall systemic racism that effects the pipeline of people of color entering professional services. It is the same for women entering technology, math and sciences.  The structure of racism and gendering fields has produced a void in the field of architecture, as well as other sciences.

“People don’t realize it’s a career option,” says Kathy Dixon, president of the NOMA and proprietor of KDixon Architecture, LLC. “Maybe they haven’t met a Black architect or met an architect at all. They are not aware of what architects do. It’s also a very expensive major, and it is expensive to take the exam to get licensed.”

Further, consider that once in the field there is discrimination to acquire jobs that lead to sustainability and industry recognition.  In architecture as in other professional services one-job-leads-to-the-next and word of mouth are the keys to the kingdom.

“Dixon estimates that as many as 30 percent of architects lost their job during the Great Recession. Many, she says, abandoned the profession.”

This flight hurt the middle business and classes to drain the supply chain rerouting knowledge to other sectors. The flight of the creatives will have a long-term effect on the nations development placing stumbling blocks on OEMs and Tier I providers. The nexus is to look at this individual research and view the supply chain from the stand point of sustainability. It is not just that there are insufficient numbers of Blacks in architecture but there is a gross deficiency in intelligence jobs across demographics effecting the economic viability of the U.S.

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Posted in Architecture, Business, Construction, Economics, Education, Equity, Financial News, Higher Education, Inclusion, Infrastructure, Innovation, Organizational Change, Organizations, RESEARCH, Small Business, Sustainability, Sustainability Nexuses, Sustainable Solutions, Technology, Women, Youth

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