Understanding Unconscious Bias

As the architecture profession strives to become more diverse and inclusive to stay relevant, it’s important that we as individuals understand our own personal biases that may be precluding us from encouraging those efforts.

Join AIA|DC, the Emerging Architects Committee, and LA.IDEA for the first session in the 2019 DAC Leadership Series that will help attendees to identify their personal biases, learn about strategies to combat those biases, and hear from colleagues about their experiences as leaders to promote an inclusive and diverse work environment.

Organized by: AIA|DC, the Emerging Architects Committee, & LA.IDEA

Presented by:

Monica Oldham, Manager, Diversity and Inclusion, World Bank Group

 Monica is the manager of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) at the World Bank   Group. She leads the preparation and implementation of D&I programs, including   learning and outreach, in order to promote the World Bank Group’s agenda. She   provides leadership, guidance and support to the D&I team on approaches and   initiatives that help drive impact, inclusion, and empathy.


Mariela Buendia-Corrochano, IIDA, LEED ID+C, Design Director, Principal, Gensler

 As Gensler's Southeast Region’s Design Synergy Leader, Mariela works across the firm   from her Washington, DC base to elevate Gensler’s design by developing talent and   promoting innovation. She engages in regional initiatives that foster cross-discipline design synergy and broaden the firm’s design dialogue.


Michael Marshall, AIA, NOMA, NCARB, President and CEO, Michael Marshall Design

 Michael is the design director and principal of Michael Marshall Design. He manages the   firm’s architectural projects with a keen sensitivity to context and environment, and leads   each project in design excellence. Marshall has been recognized as a 2016 “Power 100   Playmaker” and 2014 “Minority Business Leader of the Year” by the Washington Business Journal.


Del Ruff, MA, Senior Director of Workforce and Education, American Institute of Architects

 Del Ruff serves as Senior Director of Workforce and Education for the American   Institute of Architects national office in Washington DC. Del’s responsibilities include   the management of the workforce and education team which focuses on the concerns   of addressing the pipeline to becoming an architect and equity, diversity, and inclusion   of the profession.


Moderated by:
Sarah Wingo

About the DAC Leadership Series:

The DAC Leadership Series will kick-off in 2019! It is an evolution from last year’s Leadership Month, which took place in May of 2018. The Board of Directors felt that we would bring more value to our membership through year-around offerings in lieu of a densely packed month of programming; however the mission will remain the same - to make mentorship a key benefit of AIA membership for architects of all experience levels.

Leadership skills are what begin to separate them from all the other pack leaders and set them up for future success within their firms and within the profession. The DAC Leadership Series is comprised of sessions throughout the year based on a common theme. The theme for 2019 is The Future of the Profession, and ties into the AIA|DC Board of Director’s focus for the year.

After attending this course, participants will be able to:

  • Discuss strategies to eliminate unconscious biases during the interview process;
  • Explain how firms can encourage idea sharing among diverse groups of individuals;
  • Explore how personality preferences impact leadership and teamwork; and
  • Describe how firm leadership can help identify personal biases of team members and work to eliminate them in the workplace.