This is ABOUT something bigger than us.
Industry data shows that, although improving, women and people of color are underrepresented in design and construction fields.
of women and minorities drop off from the architecture profession.
WE CAN DO BETTER.
from WOMEN to WE.
Be Fearless. These words remind us of why the organization started and continue to fuel our ambition as we spread our influence to increase visibility and promotion of Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) in the design and construction industry.
WIELD (Women Inspiring Emerging Leaders in Design) began as a vehicle to raise awareness around gender disparity in the architectural profession. It aimed to fill a gap during the 2017 AIA Women's Leadership Summit by engaging emerging and non-licensed professionals. What began as a humble storytelling platform to amplify the voices of women and empower the next generation of leaders, blossomed into a powerful movement. Over the past three years, although inspiration through storytelling remained at the core of our premier events, we also established a growing social media presence, expanded our programming and outreach, and raised funds for scholarships. Through our efforts, we strive to transition from simply talking about and acknowledging a lack of diversity or opportunities for women and minority professionals, to actually doing something to change these statistics.
After receiving the 2019 AIA Diversity Award, WIELD solidified its partnership with AIA | DC by repositioning itself as the Equity Committee by WIELD. A "forum for solutions, not excuses", the organization now stimulates timely dialogues around the often sensitive topics related to JEDI with the aspiration that these conversations and stories will lead to meaningful action and a community that stands in solidarity. We also believe that emerging leaders in particular, have the power to shape the future of our industry to bridge existing gaps from pipeline to senior leadership. We recognize that supporting them throughout their unique career paths towards their versions of success is a void where our organization can have an impact.
Change in our industry will take time, but we are excited to build off the momentum from the past few years. This is no longer just about women; all of us play a role in creating a profession that encourages every individual, regardless of gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, religion, ability, background, etc., to bring his/her full self to work each day. Each of us can create a profession in which all voices are not only heard, but also valued.
Together, WE Inspire Emerging Leaders in Design.
Recipient of the
2019 AIA Diversity Award
check out the article recognizing honorees in Architect Magazine!
AMPLIFYING DIVERSE VOICES AND EMPOWERING EMERGING LEADERS IN OUR PROFESSION TO ENSURE THAT EVERYONE, REGARDLESS OF GENDER, ETHNICITY, SEXUAL ORIENTATION, OR BACKGROUND, HAS EQUAL OPPORTUNITY TO REALIZE SUCCESS.
Promote equity and inclusion in the architecture profession in Washington, DC and beyond.
Amplify diverse voices in design and construction.
Host events that inspire, connect, educate, and unite.
Increase the visibility of our profession to underrepresented groups.
Provide professionals with JEDI resources and tools.
Support emerging leaders in their journeys to realize their versions of success.
Create opportunities for networking and finding mentors (both with established leaders and peer-to-peer)
Promote succession planning and increased retention of mid-career professionals.
LEVERS OF CHANGE
Here's what we are doing to reach our goals and push the needle towards a more equitable and inclusive profession for future generations.
Our programs have evolved to include Speak Easys, Happy Hours, Presentations, Workshops, and Forums, in addition to the bi-annual WIELD events. Check out the Events Page to learn more about our upcoming activities!
Amplifying unique voices through storytelling is one of the most potent influences of change. As a safe space where vulnerability and empathy are encouraged, this blog provides a platform to showcase the diverse perspectives and experiences within our industry.
When addressing systemic injustices, education and forming a common language is where we must start. We believe it is our responsibility to connect professionals with JEDI resources and tools that they can use to understand the problem, and work towards being part of the solution.
Grassroots efforts will only get us part of the way there. Ultimately, things need to change at an institutional policy-level too. We use our sphere of influence to speak for those who are muted, and push the AIA's national agenda on JEDI progress.
Donating to scholarships that support women and people of color in architecture gives these underrepresented groups an equal opportunity to pursue a career in the building industry. Diversifying our industry starts with the pipeline, the youth.
Spreading awareness requires a constant stream of communication and engagement. Social media connects with a broader virtual audience and other influencers. Everyone's voice holds the same weight and there's no limit to the number of people you can reach.
The Equity Committee by WIELD wouldn't exist without its growing network of members, event attendees, partners, and allies, but it also wouldn't be possible without the passion and dedication of the Executive and Advisory Committees working behind-the-scenes.
general body members
Partnerships are powerful. When we support each other we can cast a wider net and have a greater impact. Special thanks to all the organizations we have worked with in the past. Have an idea or want to join forces with us - LET'S COLLABORATE!
Fundraising and sponsorship enables us to provide relevant information and organize valuable events for our growing audience and current members. It also allows us to support local scholarships. Thank you to our 2020 sponsors and to everyone who has supported our mission along the way whether financially or otherwise - we deeply appreciate you! View our Past Sponsors.