Applied Research Consortium

February 18, 2022

Equity at Work: Designing an Inclusive and Equitable Workplace Culture

ARC Fellow: Jake Minden
Degree Program:
 Master of Landscape Architecture
Faculty Advisor:
 Catherine De Almeida, Landscape Architecture
Firm Advisors:
 David Goldberg and Katie Stege
Project dates:
 Autumn 2020 – Spring 2021

Read the Report

Read the ASLA blog post

More about this project:

This research investigates perceptions of workplace culture in the built environment design professions to determine how to foster more equitable and inclusive workplaces for employees from underrepresented racial and ethnic minority groups. A national survey gained valuable insight into workplace culture using questions about demographics, employment history, and professional values. The survey was distributed widely to professionals from Building Architecture, Interior Design, Landscape Architecture, and Urban Design and Planning, and received 575 responses. Ten survey respondents volunteered to answer several semi-structured interview questions relating to their experience of workplace culture.

Through various methods of data analysis, three core findings emerge from the survey data. The first finding shows nearly all respondents, independent of racial and ethnic identity, identified similar cultural factors that require the most improvement. The second finding describes an uneven experience of work between white respondents and Respondents of Color, based on statistically significant differences in survey responses. The third finding characterizes two different types of cultural factors, tangible and intangible, from the first and second findings respectively, and suggests that intangible factors are more closely associated with longer employee retention rates. All three primary findings inform a list of ten recommendations to catalyze a more equitable and just workplace culture.