A Blueprint for Success: Recognizing Women in Planning and Design

March 08, 2022

The first in RDG’s Women’s History Month series featuring women who challenge us to be better, dream boldly and create meaning together in everything we do.

Women have shaped our lives and communities in a myriad of ways, contributing their knowledge, expertise, skills and perspectives across a spectrum of industries and fields. Every March, Women’s History Month offers the opportunity to honor and celebrate the contributions and impact of women. The designation dates to 1981, when Congress passed legislation that called for the president to appoint the first week of March as “Women’s History Week.” In the years that followed, and after continued petitioning and lobbying by women’s rights groups, Congress would pass additional legislation to expand the recognition for a full month. Since 1995, presidents have issued a series of annual proclamations designating the month of March as “Women’s History Month.”

There are a multitude of lists, articles and documentaries exploring notable women in the planning and design industry. Women have historically contributed and continue to make major contributions to our built environment; yet, as we reflect on the impact women have had on our lives and in our communities, we also acknowledge that despite the progress we’ve made, in terms of gender equity, there is still much work to be done. Recent statistics show that women make up only 22 percent of architects, 24 percent of landscape architects and 31 percent of urban planners. The interior design profession is an outlier, with women claiming around 73 percent of the industry share.

Despite these numbers, women are carving a path in the profession, laying out their own blueprints for success and demonstrating the importance of diversity within the AEC industry and beyond. This is generally true for the industry and also here at RDG. From architects to interior designers, landscape architects to urban planners, women play a vital role in the success of our company and our teams. They are designers, community leaders, advocates and innovators, and their contributions are evident across the spectrum of RDG’s markets.

Today (March 8, 2022) marks International Women’s Day, and it seems fitting that we kick off our celebration of the “Women of RDG” on a day dedicated to celebrating women’s achievement, raising awareness against bias and taking action for equality. In March, we’ll feature interviews with a multitalented group of women from our firm and discuss everything from what inspired them to pursue a career in their field to the resources they’ve found useful in helping them navigate a historically male-dominant industry. I’m excited to share these conversations with you as we celebrate women who challenge RDG and our teams to be better – who dream boldly and create meaning together in everything we do.

Written by Erin Van Zee, Communications Director