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The Practice Management Knowledge Community (PMKC) identifies and develops information on the business of architecture for use by the profession to maintain and improve the quality of the professional and business environment.  The PMKC initiates programs, provides content and serves as a resource to other knowledge communities, and acts as experts on AIA Institute programs and policies that pertain to a wide variety of business practices and trends.

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AIA Practice Management Digest - November 2023

By Rebecca W. Edmunds AIA posted 11-07-2023 12:29 PM


HR in practice

The rules for attracting, retaining, managing and mentoring staff keep changing--a factor exacerbated by a talent shortage. This issue shares insights from leaders across the profession.


Letter from the editor

Rebecca W.E. Edmunds, AIA headshot

By Rebecca W.E. Edmunds, AIA, NOMA

Who knew that when we emerged from the major events of 2020—the pandemic, the rise of Black Lives Matter, and a reckoning with the demographics of our profession—that the norms of practice operations would be forever altered. Hats off to any of you who saw all these changes coming at once! Some of us felt they were long overdue.

As one of those architects with a previous degree and work experience from another discipline, the profession has lagged behind most industries in having a clear and comprehensive roadmap for equitable and progressive policies that open leadership opportunities to all. I’m stunned that I still have conversations with firm leaders that are laced with naivete on their intrinsic sexism, ageism and racism. I am even more stunned when I hear a hint of it in my voice thanks to transcriptions of those conversations. We won’t get into my role in helping architects find their voice, but still, shame on me. Large, old ships are difficult to right when they are off course.

Curating the ideas and strategies of this batch of writers took me across the spectrum of our profession, from AIA national leadership, to the leaders of AIAS, small firms and HR consultants to the profession. The result addresses the full spectrum of attracting and retaining talent from students, to emerging professional development, to fostering women leaders, to firm culture and what the future holds.

The result is a gamut of insight and reinforcement for continuing to right our ship toward a new, more progressive model for practice.



Developing women leaders by building greater workplace flexibility
By Evelyn Lee, FAIA

Evelyn Lee provides actionable steps for how to attract women to your firm, grow their leadership skills and create HR policies that work for everyone.

The student experience // AIAS Speaks
By Julia Andor, AIAS and Nicole Bass, AIAS

Julia and Nicole provide us an inside look at what students entering the workforce look for during and after the job search.

HR policy trends 
By Hannah Brown, SHRM-SCP

Hannah Brown reminds us that many events in 2020 changed workplace policies for the foreseeable future. So, what does the future hold?

A look at work culture
by Iva Kravitz, Assoc. AIA

Iva M. Kravitz takes on the good, the bad and the intangible in shaping a workplace culture.

Creating systematic programs to strategically develop aspiring architects within our firms
By Matthew E. Szymanski, AIA

Matthew shares ideas on how we can effectively empower the emerging professionals on our team to excel as team leaders, independent workers, and design thinkers.

Further reading and resources

Find additional resources for several articles uploaded to our PM library here, including:

  • Future Forum Pulse Report (Winter 2022): Amid spiking burnout, workplace flexibility fuels company culture and productivity
  • Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Policy from ARUP
  • Standard Drawing Set Page


Contribute to the Digest

The future issues of the Practice Management Digest are currently planned to cover topics such as research in practice and business basics. If you have other topics related to practice management that you’d like explored or any articles you would like us to consider for inclusion, please contact