The ASLA Fund has launched the Women of Color Licensure Advancement Program to support women of color in their pursuit of landscape architecture licensure and increase racial and gender diversity within the profession.
In its inaugural year, the program will provide 10 women of color with a two-year, personalized experience that includes approximately $3,500 to cover the cost of the four sections of the Landscape Architectural Registration Exam (LARE), along with exam preparation courses, resources, and mentorship from a licensed landscape architect.
According to U.S. Census and ASLA data, approximately 18.5 percent of the U.S. population identifies as Hispanic or Latino, while only 6 percent of ASLA members do. 13.4 percent of the U.S. population identifies as African American, but only 2.14 percent of ASLA members do. 1.3 percent of the U.S. population identifies as American Indian or Alaska Natives, but only 0.45 percent of ASLA members do. And 6.3 percent of the U.S. population identifies as Asian and Pacific Islander while 13.5 percent of ASLA members do, but ASLA doesn’t separate Asian from Asian American and Pacific Islander members in its data.
A recent report by The Alliance for Responsible Professional Licensing found that among highly complex, technical fields, such as landscape architecture, a license narrows the gender-driven wage gap by about a third and the race-driven wage gap by about half.
The Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Board (CLARB)’s Council Record data shows that women and Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) are highly underrepresented among the profession: Only 7 percent of landscape architects are non-white and only 30 percent of landscape architects are women.
“The statistics are telling, and it is important we make major strides to ensure the makeup of the profession closely mirrors the communities they serve,” said ASLA President Eugenia Martin, FASLA. “We need to address these gaps, and women of color achieving licensure is a part of the solution.”
“As stated in ASLA’s Racial Equity Plan of Action released in 2021, we are committed to fostering equity and inclusion within the profession There is much more work to be done, but we believe this program is an important step towards meeting those goals,” said ASLA CEO Torey Carter-Conneen.
ASLA believes licensure is vital to protecting public health, safety, and welfare. Licensure also signifies a level of professional competency and can lead to greater career and business success. However, there can be significant barriers to licensure. Aside from the cost of a landscape architecture education, candidates must also pass the rigorous, four-part LARE.
The ASLA Women of Color Licensure Advancement Program was initiated with a generous $100,000 donation by former ASLA President Wendy Miller, FASLA, and James Barefoot; Marq Truscott, FASLA; Rachel Ragatz Truscott, ASLA; and CLARB.
Learn more about the program and how to apply. Applications are due April 1.