American Institute of Architects, San Francisco Chapter

Announcing the 2013 Missing 32% Symposium

Posted on May 14, 2013

San Francisco, CA (May 14)– AIA San Francisco is pleased to announce the 2nd annual Missing 32% - Women in Architecture symposium on June 8, 2013 at California College of the Arts in San Francisco. The Missing 32% is an initiative aimed at exploring the evolving role of women in architecture and, specifically, the lack of women in leadership positions. In the United States, recent studies indicate that women represent about 50% of students enrolled in architecture programs, but only 18% of licensed architects are women, and fewer become firm principals or partners.

The full day symposium will explore strategies surrounding work/life balance, firm culture, communications and negotiation skills, and approaches to leadership. What can individuals and organizations do to improve workplace conditions and encourage more women to stay in the profession? What communication strategies can help women strengthen their negotiation skills to better navigate their career path? How can aspiring women architects advance to the next level?

2013 Speakers

Confirmed speakers include Cary Bernstein, AIA (Founding Principal, Cary Bernstein Architect), Scott Dunlap, AIA (Managing Principal, Northwest Region, Gensler), Karen Fiene, FAIA (Campus Architect, Mills College), Elizabeth Halton (Consultant, Cameron MacAllister), Joanne Koch, AIA (Founding Principal, Koch Architects), John Kouletsis, AIA (President, AIASF Board of Directors; VP, Kaiser Permanente), Tara Mohr (Creator and teacher, global Playing Big leadership program for women), Beverly Prior, FAIA (Principal, HMC Architects), Susanna See (Managing Director, WSP Flack + Kurtz SF), and Abigail Turin (Principal, KallosTurin).


The Missing 32% was started in response to AIA National’s partnership with Mattel announcing architecture as Barbie’s career of the year in 2011. Following the announcement, AIA San Francisco’s Communications Committee organized Ladies (and Gents) Who Lunch with Architect Barbie with Ila Berman (CCA, Studio Matrixx), EB Min, AIA (Min | Day), Cathy Simon, FAIA (Perkins + Will) and Anne M. Torney, AIA (Mithun | Solomon). They discussed the state of women’s participation in the profession, examined stereotypes and roles associated with Architect Barbie and created a forum for emerging women architects trying to define their career paths. The hugely successful event sparked a larger conversation among local leaders and the chapter to explore ways to continue to engage students, individuals, firms, organizations and practitioners to find ways to advance the current position of women in the profession.

2012 Symposium

On October 13, 2012, leading professionals came together for the inaugural Missing 32% symposium to share their perspectives about the role of women in architecture in the 21st century. A panel of inspiring architects representing different career paths, from those working for large firms to those choosing to start their own practice, shared stories about their successes and the obstacles they encountered and overcame along the way.

Notable speakers included Marianne O'Brien, AIA (SmithGroupJJR), Anne Fougeron, FAIA (Fougeron Architecture), Carolyn Kiernat, AIA (Page & Turnbull), Jessica Lane (EHDD Architecture), Janet Crane (Freebairn-Smith & Crane), Laura Crescimano, Assoc. AIA (SITELAB urban studio), Lynn Filar (HOK), Eliza Hart, AIA (Hart Wright Architects), E.B. Min, AIA (Min|Day), and Bill Roger, AIA (HOK). UCSF Mission Bay project team members Sandra Beck (UCSF), Danielle Douthett (Level 10 Construction) and Lumi Ruva (SmithGroupJJR) shared their unique experiences and collaboration efforts as a women-led client and design team. Attendees were invited to voice their ideas for change in break-out sessions and together created an agenda for how men and women can work together to add value and talent to the profession for future generations.

Building on those ideas, AIA San Francisco hosted follow up events including a conversation on the rebranding of firm culture with legacy firm Shepley Bulfinch Richardson & Abbott’s first female president Carole Wedge, FAIA and Jessica Lane, an emerging designer at EHDD. Women in architecture were also highlighted during a special session of our Growing a Small Firm Series. The panel included Liz Ranieri, FAIA (Kuth/Ranieri), Marsha Maytum, FAIA (Leddy Maytum Stacy), Andrea Cochran, FASLA (Andrea Cochran Landscape Architecture) and Ive Haugeland (Shades of Green Landscape Architecture).

AIA San Francisco will continue this conversation on June 8th with the goal of improving the future of the profession for both women and men. Click below to learn more about the 2013 Missing 32% Women in Architecture symposium.