Women in Architecture

Highlighting our women in architecture and design on International Women’s Day

CDH recently achieved majority woman-owned status

March 2021

On International Women’s Day, we recognize this occasion as an opportunity to raise awareness to the growing number of women in architecture. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) studies show that 17% of registered architects are female.

“I’m surprised and would have thought the percentage would be higher,” says Rhea Jeanne Starnes, Senior Associate and owner of CDH Partners.  “I also think firms like CDH will contribute to that percentage increasing in the next five years.”

With over 75 million women in the US civilian workforce, women make up 47% of the labor force (US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2021). In comparison, CDH’s stats are quite impressive – 56% of our ownership is female-led while our workforce is nearing 50% female in a traditionally male-dominated industry.

“Representation matters and it is a refreshing change to see leadership that looks like you. I admire these strong and successful women that I work with and in the future, I hope to be a strong woman for others in the profession,” says Heli Shah, an associate in CDH’s Architectural Studio. “I am thrilled to see the number of women, POC, and minority architects increase. We are closer than ever to having a diversified industry, but I believe that until we embrace inclusivity, we will not have an equitable profession.”

As of the beginning of 2021. the new structure of the company is 56% woman-owned.

“I find it empowering that the president of CDH is a woman and that the firm is majority female,” says Jordan Warren, CDH’s newest intern. “It shows that as a society we have come such a long way to being accepted and respected in a male-dominated field.”

CDH is proud to contribute to the growth and success of women in architecture.


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