The AHMM Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (ED&I) Working Group is formed of a small group of volunteer employees who have been working together since 2020 to identify the challenges and opportunities that exist in relation to ED&I at AHMM. Our business exists in the context of a wider system built on structural privileges and prejudices that control opportunity and representation at all levels of society. There is no roadmap for how we can better represent the diverse society that we design for, however it is our shared vision that by positively engaging in discussions surrounding ED&I, AHMM can develop a model for supporting Equity, Diversity and Inclusion that is bespoke to the structure of our business, ingrained in our internal culture, and directly related to the way in which we design and deliver great architecture for the cities and places we serve.

‘A practice that better represents our diverse society, while also promoting an inclusive culture, will become a better informed place of work and, as a result, an even more capable organisation.'

Peter Morris, Managing Director AHMM

In early 2022, the ED&I Working Group published the practice’s first Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Annual Report. The report identified a range of recommended activities to help AHMM become a leader in addressing Equity, Diversity and Inclusion within our industry and within our business. As an overarching recommendation, the Working Group identified the need to provide dedicated resource that is empowered with both authority and time to drive these priority actions forward. As a result a role was developed for an Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Lead, and Rochelle Dalphinis was appointed to the role on a 12 month secondment.

The Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Group

The Other Box

In 2020 AHMM started working with the diversity and inclusion consultancy The Other Box. In the same year The Other Box delivered a series of Unconscious Bias training sessions for staff with a focus on Directors, Associate Directors, Associates and Heads of Department.

Working with the practice’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Group, The Other Box created a survey to gain a better understanding of the cultural, ethnic, religious, and social backgrounds of the people within the practice, and how we as a practice understood the subject of diversity and inclusion at AHMM.

This anonymous survey was compiled by 350 members of staff (69 percent), the results of which were collated and analysed by TOB who then prepared an independent report. The results of this have informed the actions of our Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Group.

_The Space

In 2020 several members of staff came together to create _The Space, a volunteer group that aims to promote a safe space for open discussion, exploration, and celebration of the different cultures and varied perspectives represented within AHMM.

With an initial focus on race, the group has expanded to include all marginalised groups within the industry. Working with an external consultancy Bridging the Gap, _The Space have hosted forum discussions such as Not all superheroes wear capes; No, you cannot touch my hair; Queer and Muslim: Nothing to reconcile; Conversations with children; When women like me occupy spaces not designed for me; and Allyship.


Women’s History Month

Each March AHMM marks Women’s History Month with a series of talks and events. Most recently, for example, events have included author Jane Hall discussing her book 'Woman Made: Great Women Designers’, A CPD session on the XXAOC Project with Sarah Akigbogun, and a CPD on Platforming Marginalised Voices in the Built Environment with Siufan Adey.

Gender Pay gap working group

In 2019 an independent cross-practice working group, set up through the practice’s Employee Ownership Forum, carried out a review of all of the practice’s policies to identify potential gender bias. As a result, a 16 point Action Plan was developed and approved by the Board and is now being implemented.

The Action Plan has been a catalyst for the practice to take a step back and to look at our processes at all phases of the employee life cycle - recruitment, development, progression, and retention - recognising the things we are already doing that have a positive impact, but also where we can improve. The implementation of the plan will be continuously monitored to ensure that our actions lead to positive benefits in the professional and personal lives of all our employees and, in tandem with this, to further closing our gender pay gap.


Black History Month

_The Space launched their first series of events during Black History Month 2020. These included a series of lunchtime CPDs and talks from people including artist Hamid Maiye, community gardener and activist Carole Wright, and Wretched of the Earth founder Kieran Kirkwood. An online Gambian cooking class was also organised. The month also included the first of the ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’ series of Friday Night Presentations, in which staff share their family histories, offering the chance to learn more about the people behind the practice.

LGBTQ+ History Month

2021 saw the practice’s first LGBTQ+ History month programme. A volunteer panel invited guest speakers to join us in a series of online events.

The weekly online talks were accompanied by a weekly newsletter that included staff recommendations for books, films and podcasts created by or about LGBTQ+ people.

One participant responded:

“I am so happy that AHMM did this - so thank you to the individuals who organised everything and gave up their time. I felt like it was really well thought out and tailored to AHMM - not only architects but to all who work here, and it was nice to see different types of events - some where you could fully participate and some where you didn't have to. I really thought it was thank you!”

Link Date Title Location
27.03.23 AHMM Poet in Residence date230327
09.02.23 UEL School of Architecture Broadgate Prize 1 Broadgate date230209