WIA Club looks to expand opportunities for women in architecture

May 17, 2023 | General News, Liberal Arts, Students

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately 84% of architecture and engineering occupations are held by men and approximately 70% of architects, except landscape and naval occupations are held by men.

The Women in Architecture (WIA) organization’s mission is to increase the viability and visibility of women in architecture, design, and construction industries, according to An Le, a Lecturer in Tech’s School of Design, a recent graduate of Techs Architecture program, and faculty advisor for WIA.

“Architecture has historically been a male-dominated profession, and women have faced barriers to entry and advancement. A club-oriented towards women in architecture can provide a supportive and inclusive environment where women can connect with each other, share experiences and resources, and access mentorship and leadership opportunities,” Sara Brantley, a junior in Architecture and President of WIA said.

For women to find success in architecture and related fields, a support system is crucial.

“By creating a space for women in architecture to come together, the club can also help to address issues of gender bias and discrimination that may exist within the profession,” Brantley said.“It can advocate for greater diversity and representation in architecture education and practice, and promote a more inclusive and equitable culture within the profession.”

Women offer a unique perspective and approach to design that has had and will continue to have a positive impact on the architecture industry.

“I’ve seen firsthand how women have brought a unique perspective and approach to design, helping to shape and build environments in new and innovative ways,” Brantley said.

Members of the group spoke highly of their experiences in Tech’s School of Design.

“My experience has been a good one and I’ve found strong support systems in Hale Hall from both students and professors alike,” Brantley said.

Haley Hamel, a fourth-year architecture student and member of WIA shared a similar sentiment.

“The architecture program at Tech has helped shape me into the woman I am today. I always felt equal in my courses. Professors of our program resonate with students who have drive and passion, regardless of gender,” she said.

Le hopes to use her positive experience in Tech’s architecture program to help her students flourish.

“My experience in the architecture program at Tech has shaped me into who I am and what I stand for today,” Le said. “I had one female professor named Liane Hancock who was a great influence on me as a student. The impact that Professor Hancock had on me was exponential and I hope to have the same impact on students at Tech.”