Equity and inclusion are at the foundation of our work.
Diversity, Equity + Inclusion
An inclusive culture, from the ground up
We celebrate the diversity of our teams, and we advocate for a workplace where all of our colleagues have a voice and are valued. Long-established groups such as the SOM Women’s Initiative continue to support the advancement of women into leadership roles, contributing to closing the gender gap in the design profession. Employee resource groups (ERGs) including SOM NOMA, Pride, Asian Alliance, and Arquitectos foster greater equity and inclusion across our workplaces and throughout our industry.
Equitable pay and career growth
Equity is the cornerstone of recruitment and career advancement at SOM. We pay people equally for equivalent jobs across the firm. Our career advancement framework makes criteria for promotions clear and transparent for everyone. We continually review our recruitment, performance appraisal, and promotion practices to make sure that our teams are appropriately and fairly compensated and that opportunities for advancement are the same for all.
Implementing our DEI action plan
In 2020, through a collaborative grassroots effort with SOM NOMA and many other passionate colleagues, we collectively developed an action plan to bring meaningful change to our profession, starting with our own culture and practices. We are using our influence to pave the way toward a more just, transparent, and inclusive industry by identifying and addressing the root causes of the lack of diversity in the AEC industry, and focusing on sustainable, long-term change.
Read our 2023 Diversity, Equity + Inclusion Report
As the third annual survey of initiatives, projects, and efforts across our global practice, this report continues our commitment to maintaining an open dialogue about equity in our firm, in our industry, and in the built environment that we shape through our work.
Meet our employee resource groups
Building community from the ground up, employee resource groups at SOM are working to foster greater equity and inclusion across our studios and our industry.
The SOM Asian Alliance is fostering community, advocating for leadership, and amplifying the presence and shared identities of all Asians at SOM. We are a collective of individuals from diverse backgrounds, languages, and cultures united in the shared endeavor to empower Asians not just within SOM but throughout our industry. We seek to raise consciousness and increase understanding of the Asian experience, to accelerate excellence, and to build a pipeline for Asian leaders who make a positive impact at SOM and beyond.
SOM NOMA is committed to advancing equity at SOM and within the AEC industry. Our work is inspired by the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA)’s mission: “rooted in a rich legacy of activism, to empower our local chapters and membership to foster justice and equity in communities of color through outreach, community advocacy, professional development and design excellence.”
In 2020, SOM NOMA collaborated with SOM’s partners and Talent, Equity and Diversity taskforce to lead the development of a 34-point action plan which seeks to bring pivotal change within our firm and the wider industry.
The Women’s Initiative at SOM creates a positive impact in the AEC industry by advancing women at all levels of our firm worldwide. We challenge institutional barriers to gender equity, bias, and systemic discrimination by promoting intersectionality and awareness, fostering mentorship and retention, and providing opportunities for professional growth and development.
SOM Pride is a global network that elevates and celebrates voices of the LGBTQIA+ community at our firm and in our industry. We’re focused on building an open, inclusive, and equitable environment together. Spanning countries and regions, our network brings visibility to our community and our allies. We affirm the importance of a safe space that is inclusive of gender, sexuality, race, and many intersecting identities in the architecture, engineering, and construction industries.
SOM Arquitectos is an inclusive collective of architects, engineers, planners, and design professionals. The group’s mission is to provide professional development, mentorship, and community assistance, and to further enrich the architectural profession through diverse cultural views and practices. Representing the Hispanic and Latino community across many different countries and nationalities, SOM Arquitectos serves as a resource and advances collaborations with allied organizations.