Striving for an equitable, diverse and just architectural profession
The more diverse the perspectives of those who participate in the design process and contribute to the culture of our firm, the stronger and better the work will be. Payette’s design philosophy celebrates architecture for people, openness in our practice and collaboration as the path to innovation. We believe in building a more equitable, diverse and inclusive design practice to achieve the best and strongest design solutions. We strive for excellence across our practice, and we firmly believe that equity, diversity and inclusion are essential in achieving that goal.
Our clients and the communities we serve are some of the most progressive and diverse in the industry, and we expect no less of ourselves. Diversity is about moving beyond perceived limits and stereotypes of gender, race, religion, sexuality, age, physical abilities and culture to form the best possible team of professionals dedicated to their work and our clients.
To meet this challenge, we have developed an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan. We will create a stronger, more relevant and more vibrant practice by embracing and increasing diversity in all levels of our firm and in all aspects of our design teams and by increasing staff literacy and awareness around the issues of equitable practice.
payette’s edi action plan
For the last five years, Payette has actively focused on issues of equity, diversity, and inclusion within the firm and through our outreach efforts. We believe that the recent acts of racial violence in our country compel us to act with a greater sense of urgency and to move both existing and new initiatives forward in a timely fashion. As members of the architecture community, we share the burden to establish decisive actions that counteract the atmosphere of exclusivity that has pervaded the profession. We must and will do more to be supportive of those that have felt marginalized and excluded from our work. We are committed to being actively anti-racist, pro women and pro-LGTBQ by promoting a greater level of inclusivity across the firm.
Our EDI Action Plan covers a range of topics including firm policies, education, recruitment and advancement and firm assessments. Several recent initiatives include:
- Published a statement about the firm’s EDI commitment
- Conducted firm-wide workshops on unconscious bias
- Developed a recruitment plan to build relationships and the employment pipeline at Historically Black Colleges and Universities
- Established guidelines to create more diverse project teams
- Host an annual Day of Service for under served non-profit organizations
the just label
Payette recently earned the International Living Future Institute’s Level Two JUST Label. The JUST Label is a voluntary program that allows an organization to measure and define its commitment to equity and social justice. It compels an organization to take in in-depth and honest look at their operations, at all levels, from employee culture to financial investment, to assess their commitment to social justice and equity in the workplace. The process is rigorous and has taught us where we are and where we can do better. We are looking forward to continued success in this realm and to focusing on sustaining a great work environment that “walks the talk” in terms of living our firm’s values.
SPATIAL EQUITY RESEARCH GROUP
Payette is interested in design through the lens of social equity, diversity and inclusion. Fundamentally, this begins with and revolves around the users of a space. Equitable design strategies expand upon that thinking by broadening the spectrum of users explicitly considered when designing a space. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) provides a strong foundation when designing for physical impairments. Inclusive Design builds upon that foundation to address as many user needs as possible. Universal Design aims to create an experience that can be accessed and used to the greatest extent by all users. Our in-house Spatial Equity Research Group explores how we can apply and explore these guidelines in our design process, providing important insights to project teams.