Laddership groups are intended to broaden opportunities to provide strong mentoring for our architectural community.

What is Laddership?

  • The Laddership program matches architecture mentors with young and associate architects in order to meet the high demand for professional guidance in a manner that is informative, enjoyable and easy to fulfill.
  • Laddership groups are intended to broaden the opportunity to provide strong mentoring for our architectural community.
  • The goal of Laddership is to create a culture of mentoring in our community. Young Associate Architects who participate are encouraged to pay it forward by growing into future mentors themselves.

Download an application to participate in the Laddership program:
Mentor Application | Emerging Professional Application


We know that there is a continual need for good architectural mentors. We also know that it has also been a struggle to maintain a good network of willing mentors in our profession. While it is no longer a requirement to maintain an outside mentor as part of one’s path to licensure, the purpose and value of such mentoring is still relevant. Those who participate are taking advantage of a rare opportunity for professional development.

This is an opportunity for seasoned architects, young professionals, recent graduates, transplants to Seattle, and anyone in-between to contribute to current and ongoing issues of professional practice through the sharing of experiences and ideas. There is no on-on-one pressure that can be slow to overcome and inhibit the mentoring process. This gives everyone a chance to ease into the relationship.

Laddership Structure and Guidelines

  • Laddership is a free program offered by the AIA Seattle to support the professional development of your architects and associates in Seattle
  • A Laddership Group shall consist of one (1) lead mentor and five or six (5-6) young architects and/or associate architects.
  • The Mentor-Mentee relationship is just that – a relationship. It is important that each group is able to develop “chemistry”. The AIA Seattle will facilitate the matching of mentors and young architects/interns with the goal of creating a good mix of participants.
  • Participation in a Laddership group means that you are committing to actively participate in the meetings and discussions. Mentoring only works when people share openly and freely, without fear of repercussion or rumoring.
  • Two (2) times a year Laddership, through AIA Seattle, will host an all-group welcoming and social event. (In recent years this has been a Summer mixer during the Seattle Design Festival and a Winter Mini-Golf event.) These occasions serve to actively seek new participants, either mentors or mentees, to learn about the program. It is also an opportunity for the Chairs of Laddership to speak about mentoring and the principles of Laddership and mentoring in general.
  • Each Laddership group shall meet once a month at a regular time and place determined by the group itself for availability and access.
  • Lead Mentors shall not recruit employees through the Laddership program. In general, Laddership groups should consist of participants from different architectural firms with a range of sizes and types of work.

Lead Mentor Role

  • Have a passion for mentoring in the architecture profession. Someone who feels good about making someone’s early years in our profession a better experience.
  • The Lead Mentor shall be a licensed architect who can speak to the necessary steps required while encouraging growth towards the goal of licensure of our emerging professionals.
  • Required to attend an all-group social event to learn about the successes of other groups and share what others are doing to succeed with mentoring. Mentors should encourage their groups to attend the all-group social events.
  • Shall be committed to attend the monthly meeting and encourage all young architects in their groups and interns in the group to attend.
  • AIA membership is required for Lead Mentors.

Young Architect / Associate Role

  • The Young Architect or Associate shall have the desire to grow in the architecture profession and become a licensed architect.
  • It is very important that each member of a Laddership group be committed to attending the monthly meetings and participating in the discussions. If participation is lacking, the Mentor shall notify the Laddership Chairs to find a replacement for the benefit of the full group.
  • Bring a topic for discussion to each of the monthly meetings. This is important in getting the conversation started. As with any discussion, the topic may naturally meander. In theory, the Laddership group should be able to meet and hold a productive session without the Lead Mentor.
  • AIA membership is not required but highly encouraged for Emerging Professionals.

Questions? Contact for more details.

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