Tuesday / February 05, 2019 / 12:00 PM - 1:15 PM

Public Sector as Game Changer: Inequalities Facing Women-led and Small Architecture Firms

AIA Chicago, 35 East Wacker Drive, #250

(left to right: Rada Doytcheva, Carina Sanchez, Jamie Rhee)

This event is a follow-up to a successful presentation and panel discussion led by Rada Doytcheva, FAIA, at the 2018 AIA Convention in NYC under the title “The Missing 32 Percent (Women) & Missing Small Architecture Firms.” Its focus was on empowerment of women-led and small architecture firms and the role of the public sector in such practices. In regards to bridging the gap of the 32% women architects only: women-led architecture firms are best positioned to grow, encourage and raise a generation with more women architects, yet there is still meager access to steady and meaningful project opportunities. Roadblocks toward prosperity and equal access are not easy to change. Women and smaller firms are not trusted for bigger and better projects. How can this be changed? Public sector work can make a difference.

Rada shares statistics, context of local, national and international status quo - to bring to focus women architects’ inequalities. Examples from public procurement success and limitations point to the vast opportunities, but also to the need of streamlining processes, ensuring fair contractual treatment and creating a strong platform for inclusion. Having public sector officials Jamie Rhee, Chicago Dept. of Aviation, and Carina Sánchez, Public Building Commission of Chicago, speak to architects will increase awareness on avenues for accelerating change.

As Rada is seeking input for continuing advocacy, all participants are invited to share opinions prior, during or after the presentation. The intent is that the topic of this gathering continues as a series of discussions, events, panels – with other public officials in the City and State.

Learning Objectives

  • Gain information needed to effectively communicate to the public sector why women architects and smaller practices should be given large and important project opportunities.
  • Learn how to engage in advocacy for women and small firms, noting that architecture is not about quantity but about ideas and team management.
  • Gain insights about increased procurement activity for women and minorities at the City of Chicago and the Public Building Commission of Chicago;
  • Discover methods and steps in effective communication when approaching public sector procurement.

Bring your lunch; beverages provided.


Rada Doytcheva, PhD, FAIA, LEED AP BD +C, Principal/Head of Design, RADA Architects

Carina Sánchez, Executive Director of the Public Building Commission of Chicago

Jamie Rhee, JD, Commissioner, Chicago Dept. of Aviation

Sponsored By

Practice Management KC and Small Practitioners Group

Learning Units

1 LU

Member Price


Non Member Price