Equity in Architecture was founded in 2016 when the AIA Georgia Board of Directors, President Theresa Ridley, and Executive Director David Southerland asked Atlanta netWorking Women to expand the group's programming and community outreach from the city of Atlanta to the entire state of Georgia. 

We thought it was a great idea, and used the opportunity to rebrand the group, expanding the organization’s definition of equity to include male members, transgender members, and other gender non-conforming participants.


EQiA is a committee of the Georgia Chapter of the American Institute of Architects. We are comprised of three subcommittees (Professional Development, Advocacy+Outreach, and Research). 

The subcommittees take two approaches in their mission to make the A/E/C industry as equitable as possible: bottom-up and top-down.

  • Our bottom-up efforts aim to help people help themselves:
    • We host educational programs on key professional development skills, such as networking and negotiation.
    • We encourage the development of professional community, by organizing regular opportunities to socialize.
  • Our top-down efforts aim to help change the profession itself: 
    • We lobby the GA General Assembly to support legislation that improves gender equity in the profession.
    • We gather benchmarking data on metrics related to gender equity, and publish the Equity Toolkit, a guide for leaders looking to make their firms more equitable. 
    • We strive to increase the visibility and prominence of minority and female* architects, by hosting talks and publishing articles and interviews with them.

*Mostly female. We welcome men, transgender people, and gender nonbinary folks - anyone interested in promoting gender equity.!