Equitable Business Practices
Bora believes that equity work is essential to change the workplace reflect the culture to which we aspire. It is our mission and policy to provide equitable opportunities in all aspects of employment, including recruitment, hiring, promotion, training, compensation, benefits, and working conditions.
Creating a pipeline of diverse talent in the industry. We recognize that leaders who are diverse in gender and racial identity can have a transformative impact as mentors and role models. Bora has undertaken several strategies to provide this mentorship and increase minority and women architects, engineers, and design professionals, including:
- De La Salle North Catholic High School Corporate Work Study. In this ongoing 7-year partnership, Bora has hosted 11 De La Salle interns, all from Portland’s Black and Brown communities. A typical intern meets mentors in a variety of project roles, gains hands-on experience with fabrication, and helps develop project materials.
- Young Black Professionals Workforce Housing Apprenticeship. Bora’s Young Black Professionals (YBP) Workforce Housing seeks to create opportunities for Black architecture/engineering/construction professionals through housing and a three-year apprenticeship program where they can be mentored, develop leadership skills, and work for a local AEC firm to help ensure a pathway for success.
- Immigrant & Refugee Community Organization + Portland Public Schools Partnership. We offer a regular summer internship to a local high school student.
- College-Level Summer Internship. Paid interns from under-represented communities see all phases of architectural design and pursue a personally defined project that can strengthen their professional portfolio. Acknowledging the financial barriers of relocation, a moving stipend is included.
- Two Full Scholarships for Minority Students to attend the University of Oregon College of Design.
- Hip Hop Architecture Internship. In 2020, Bora hosted a middle-school intern from Jackson, MS. The intern worked with us to develop his vision for a community center for his own local Black community. He is now pursuing Architecture as his career track.
Equitable Hiring. Bora has a structured hiring process to mitigate bias by consistently looking for desired skills and values in candidates. The questions asked value lived experiences as part of the knowledge candidates bring and recognize that not all candidates will have been afforded the same opportunities. Interviewers seek potential and not just past experience.
In recruiting, Bora has a list of job boards for posting opportunities to a broad range of communities, including candidates of color, LGBTQIA+, and individuals with disabilities. Bora is building its relationship with HBCUs and is part of the President’s Circle for the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA), having sponsored six employees to join the new NOMA PDX Chapter. We do not ask candidates for their criminal history during the hiring process.
In an industry that is 75% male, Bora is over 50% women, with strong representation at every level of the firm. 11% of our staff across all departments of our practice are BIPOC.