Intersectionality recognises how identities, relationships and social factors can combine to create intersecting forms of privilege and oppression depending on a person’s context and existing power structures.
➖'Articulate and role model the importance of intersectionality and diversity, equity, and inclusion from the top down, and mobilize the entire organization to advance it', Race in the UK workplace: The intersectional experience, McKinsey 2023.
➖Create awareness about intersectionality.
Start with defining what intersectionality is to your organisation: 'Intersectionality is the interconnected nature of social categories and identities such as race, gender, class, sexual orientation, disability, and more, and how they overlap and intersect to create unique experiences and systems of discrimination, power and privilege for individuals'. Then use tools such as 'The Wheel of Power/Privilege' by Sheila Duckworth to highlight how different people might benefit from or be marginalised by systems in our society and at work.
➖ Include intersectional diverse opinions in the process of designing the D&I data collection process.
Consider, what questions are you not asking?
➖Conduct D&I data analysis along multiple axes of identity and breakdown data to identify the more subtle dynamics at play for different individuals at various levels and where the pain points lie.
Understand the needs of employees who suffer the most ‘adverse impact’ by unpicking the data.
➖Prioritize initiatives that specifically meet the unique needs of intersectional groups. The specific needs of underrepresented groups can get obscured when we use broad categories, such as BAME or women or people with disabilities. By reviewing data with an intersectional lens, organisations can develop strategies at a granular level that target challenges specific for that group.
💡Read more in this Intersectionality in Action Worksheet from Fearless Futures.
- Video: What is Intersectionality and Why Does it Matter?, d&i Leaders
- Video: The urgency of intersectionality, Kimberlé Crenshaw, TED
- Resource: the UN's Intersectionality Resource Guide and Toolkit
- Research: Intersectionality Theory and Practice, Doyin Atewologun
- Article: Addressing Intersectionality in Diversity and Inclusion Analysis, Pulsely
- Article: Race in the UK workplace: The intersectional experience, McKinsey
- Guide: An Introduction to Intersectionality, The Clear Company
- Resource: Intersectionality in Action Worksheet, Fearless Futures
- Article: An Intersectional Approach to Inclusion at Work, HBR
- Article: Intersectionality and its Impact on the Business