"This paper is written to report on a qualitative experiment with Performance Based Evaluation for students, 15 women and I man, in the Interior Design Program at Arizona State University. For thirty years that I have been teaching in interior design and participating with colleagues, mostly male, in complaining about "how hard it is to teach women, to make them competitive, to get them to exercise the creativity we know they possess." For the past seven years I have been researching and developing methods of evaluating almost everything from student performance in the design studios to thermal comfort. In the spring of 1997, I developed an evaluation instrument based on performance. This evaluation instrument references the significant research that has been done which indicates that women working in competative environments have difficulty accepting and asserting their own knowledge as valuable and in expressing their ideas in places where evaluation is taking place. At first apprehensive, the women began expressing themselves freely and asserting their ideas openly, intelligently and forcefully. The work for the semester was the best I have ever seen. The Performance Based Evaluation empowered women in the design studio."