Widler Architecture has been around for years. We’ve watched the world shift in ways we didn’t think was possible and become what it is today. Everyone is making their voices heard and real change is happening, but it’s not over yet. With June signifying the month of PRIDE, known for, inclusivity and equality — we realize we still have a long way to go, and that’s what we want to talk about today.
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Is Racial Inequality Really Being Tackled?
We would be remiss if we didn’t discuss the milestone date that just passed when discussing equality. This time last year, protests were happening around the world to show support for Black Lives Matter after the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. We were heartbroken with everyone else as we watched a pandemic, one tragedy, meet another. It was a long time coming and while we expressed our support then, we want to do it again now.
We here at Widler Architecture stand with BLM and send our condolences to the family of George Floyd as they mark the one-year anniversary of his death. The field of architecture is far from perfect. With firms being predominantly white, we know there’s room for improvement everywhere. There is no such thing as cultural architecture and design is not pure aesthetics. Exposing this framework helps us talk about architecture as a cultural product, tying in political and racial agents. This is what we strive to do at Widler and we are working towards every single day.
Are Women Being Left Behind in Architecture?
The world of architecture has never been as inclusive as we’d want it to be. Women have been overlooked in the field and felt unequal to their male counterparts. Margie Lavender wrote an article in November 2020 about the struggles women faced and continue to encounter in architecture — from schools not admitting women to being overlooked for positions altogether. When civil rights laws cracked down on admissions and women made up half of the graduates, they only made up about 20 percent of architects at the intermediate level and 17 percent of partners in US firms. Female architects also earn lower salaries than their male peers and are less likely to hold positions of leadership.
“We are lulled into the comfort of believing that the struggle for women’s equality was long ago,” Lavender wrote, “… But it is not in the past and it is not over.” Widler Architecture is inclined to agree.
Women’s History Month, despite having passed in March, is still relevant each and every day to us. We recognize the women at our firm and the exceptional work they do, as well as taking into account the great strides they made to get to where they are in a world that isn’t as accessible or equal to them as it is for men.
Join us For a Better Tomorrow
Widler Architecture not only wants to create a workplace that is equal but a world that is, too. Pride month is a great opportunity to initiate the conversation around inclusivity in architecture, but it doesn’t end when June does. This is something we will consider every single day.
Not ignoring the roots of design, taking into consideration the racial ties it has, giving women the same opportunities as men, and embracing the changes to come in future years is what we believe will propel us forward into a better, more inclusive tomorrow.