McGranahan Architects launched a “Women in Architecture” photo series on our Instagram channel in March of 2017 in support of Women’s History Month. Our goals were to share the stories of the architects and designers in our office and to inspire young women in pursuit of architectural careers. Collectively, we asked one question: What inspired you to become an architect or designer?
In March of 2016, the American Institute of Architects released the results of a Diversity in the Profession of Architecture survey stating that more than 70% of female identified architects and architecture students in the United States feel that women are underrepresented in the profession. Our desire for this campaign was to promote internal firm culture by highlighting and celebrating our female professionals who contribute greatly to our firm. We also viewed this campaign as a way to develop a personal connection with our online audience through shared stories.
In addition to the celebratory aspect of this campaign, we also wanted to inspire young architectural students or aspiring architectural students. We felt that social media was a strong platform for this campaign due to its ability to connect with a younger audience. The level of online engagement was phenomenal; so much so that we decided to enter our photo series into the Seattle Reign Awards for Best Digital Media Campaign.
Because of the genuine collaboration, honest storytelling and pathways paved by architects before us like Zaha Hadid, Eileen Gray and Maya Lin, we were able to win a Reign Award for our photo series. From this experience we have learned that while a large majority of women in the architectural field feel underrepresented, our goal as a firm is to recognize this reality and actively engage with our architects to create a more equal and just environment for everyone at our firm.