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Archslate | A tool that is helping Architecture firms bring in diversity through hiring.
June 18, 2021 at 6:30 PM
by Devayani Bapat
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If you’re here, reading this blog, then you know us. You know who we are and what we do. You know that we are a platform for, by, and with architects. As a company founded by a woman of color, we believe in helping all those individuals of color, especially minority women, and provide them with equal opportunity.

In this article we look at

  1. Statistics - Let’s talk numbers
  2. Black lives matter
  3. Real-life experience
  4. Our contribution

Let’s talk numbers

Before we get into everything that we are doing to help, let us take you through our beliefs.

For us at Archslate, Black and Brown merely remain colors, that is, until one steps into a white man’s world. The minute that step is taken, an individual is categorically divided into a color-based hierarchy.

While many industries might have seen the shift from exclusion to inclusion, the hierarchical nature based on the color of one’s skin remains a prevalent issue faced by architects in the United States. While many might allude to this statement as a controversial and hasty generalization, according to the National Organisation of Minority Architects’ (NOMA) statistic report as recently as August of 2020, it has been reported that out of the 1,16,242 licensed architects in the United States and its territories, just 2% are Black.

While reducing the credibility, creative ability and career trajectory of a race or gender to a mere statistic in itself evidences the issue, it also raises various questions on the ethical inclusivity practices that are followed by architecture firms across a nation that is home to a 13.4% Black population.

Black Lives Matter

While I am not an architect myself, as a design enthusiast and someone who stands with the anti-racism movement, I am aware that the first-ever Black architect to be licensed in the United States was Robert Robinson Taylor who graduated from MIT in the year 1892. While the architecture school at MIT was set up in 1865 it wasn’t until three years later in 1868 that a Black man was “allowed” to walk its grounds. Racism at its best, if you ask us.

Years later in 2021 as I sit here typing this in front of my laptop, I cannot help but digress and think of the murder of George Floyd that sparked the Black Lives Matter movement.

When one thinks of the incident with a birds-eye point of view, it is hard to step away from the shocking reality that while Black, Brown and White men have walked the earth for centuries together, it was not until the summer of 2020, that #BlackLivesMatter -ed in a white man’s world.

Now why is this incident crucial to how the architecture industry is changing, one might ask. Well, this historical massacre has freed persons of color, from the shackles of the tiered systems. White men headlining leading industries, including the architecture industry, have now taken the time to sit up, take notice and reform their rules in favor of Black equity.

A colorful experience? Not really...

To gain some perspective on what it's like to work in the architecture industry in the United States as an individual of color, I spoke to a friend of mine, a woman, currently working as an architect in the country. While the attitude towards Black people has changed drastically over the past year, she did mention a horror story of a year filled with rejections, snide remarks, lack of recognition, and the worst of the lot, replaced with a “prettier face” for client interactions.

Our contribution

As a company, we at Archslate want to provide employers with a tool that allows them to hire people from diverse cultural backgrounds. We are extending a helping hand to small, women and minority-owned businesses by offering them 80% discounts to get all the help they need with hiring as well as providing free premium accounts to all individual users.

Archslate is trying to create a hiring system that is fair, just, and ethical. Our primary concern is to acknowledge and highlight talent over factors such as race, gender, and color. We choose to embrace transparency and diversity in hiring and hence we provide the employers signed onto our platform with statistical data on hiring, different pay chart comparisons as well as equal opportunity policies to enable them with information to make well-informed decisions whilst recruiting new employees for their companies. Very often people belonging to minority communities lose out on jobs or are laid off as a common practice. Our portal is here to nip the problem in the bud and ensure that we, on our end, become the tool that encourages and promotes diversity in hiring.

While there do exist a few other job search portals, Archslate tries to bridge the gap between employer and diverse hiring by providing an abundance of data aggregation. We are a one-stop-shop to discover smaller firms owned by women or persons of color that are doing great work and in the world of Google searches and SEO strategies, would otherwise be lost.

“Diversity is having a seat at the table, inclusion is having a voice, and belonging is having that voice heard.” - Liz Fosslen

We couldn’t agree more. Our aim is to create a community that is diverse, included, and feels like it belongs. Diversity is the only truth and it is time that truth is addressed and not just relegated to looming large like the elephant in the room.

In a society that stands for the most part as a predominantly racist one, the problem lies with ignorance and lack of awareness. Well, ignorance in this case isn’t bliss. Stereotyping was a common phenomenon of the Trump administration but now all one can do is hope that the Biden administration will not just invite persons of color to the party but also offer them a seat at the table, ask them to dance to their choice of music!

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Built by Architects for the Architecture, Landscape, Interior, and Urban planning industry, Archslate is proud to create the largest talent marketplace that understands the needs of every firm while removing recruiters, third-party agencies, and percentage cuts. See how Archslate can help your firm by requesting a demo with us.
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