The term “intersectionality” was first coined in 1989 by legal scholar Kimberlé Crenshaw. It is used to describe the ways in which different types of discrimination (e.g. race, gender, disability) intersect and compound one another
In recent years, there has been a growing awareness of the importance of intersectionality in understanding and combatting discrimination. However, there is still much work to be done in terms of integrating an intersectional perspective into workplace policies and practices. This blog post will explore 10 ways in which intersectionality affects diversity, inclusion, equity, and belonging in the workplace
- People with disabilities are overrepresented in the ranks of the unemployed: Data from the 2018 Annual Disability Statistics Compendium showed only 28.6% of US African Americans with disabilities aged 18-64 had a job, compared to 73.7% of African Americans without disabilities
- People of colour who experienced microaggressions in the workplace were more likely to quit: more than a third (35%) of Black professionals intended to quit within two years compared with 27% of white professionals, with rates slightly higher for Black women (36%) than Black men (33%)
- The “emotional tax” Black women bear at work: A study by researchers at Vanderbilt University found that Black women who experience microaggressions at work are more likely to suffer from anxiety, depression, and insomnia. Furthermore, these effects can cumulative over time and lead to chronic stress
- LGBTIQ+ people of colour are at a higher risk for unemployment: A study by the National LGBTQ Task Force found that LGBTIQ+ people of colour are four times more likely to be unemployed than their white counterparts
- Women of colour are less likely to be promoted: A study by researchers at Boston College found that while 78% of white men were promoted after completing management training programs, only 60% of Asian women and just 47% of Black women received similar promotions
- Parents who are racial minorities are less likely to have access to quality child care: A report by Child Care Aware found that while 77% of white children have access to quality child care, this number drops to 54% for Latino children and just 34% for black children
- Minority employees are more likely to receive lower performance evaluations: A study by Vanderbilt University found that employees who are racial or ethnic minorities are more likely to receive lower performance evaluations than their white counterparts, even when controlling for factors such as job tenure and education level
- White men with low levels of qualification are more likely to be employed than black women with high levels of qualification: In a study of over 6500 employment applications, researchers at Boston University found that white men with criminal records were more likely to be offered job interviews than black women with no criminal records or college degrees
- Racial minorities are underrepresented in leadership positions: According data from the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, people of colour made up just 22% of management positions in 2017 even though they make up almost 40% of the workforce
- White employees are more likely than employees of colour to receive mentoring and coaching from senior staff: In a survey of over 1200 workers, researchers at Harvard Business School found that 60% Of White Employees Receive Mentoring From Senior Staff Compared To Just 42% Of Hispanic Employees And 36% Of Black Employees.”’
These findings illustrate just some of the ways in which intersectionality affects diversity, inclusion equity and belonging in the workplace.
This is why I created the Intersectional Inclusion Roadmap™ a unique system that helps people managers to build inclusive workplaces in 90 days so that they increase belonging + finally attract, retain & advance their talent with ease. There is no transformation from information without implementation so we break down the 90 days for you to implement, implement & implement!
It recognizes that each person has unique experiences and perspectives
It acknowledges that systems of oppression are interconnected
It challenges us to think beyond binary categories like “male” and “female.”
It forces us to examine our own privilege
It centres on those who have been traditionally marginalized
It highlights the importance of collaboration over competition
It teaches us about the power of allies
It leads to more productive conversations about difficult topics
It helps create more equitable workplaces
Ultimately, it makes us better people
Workplaces need to do better in terms of understanding and addressing these issues.
Otherwise, they run the risk of losing out on the skills, experience, knowledge, creativity, and productivity that diverse teams can offer.
Want to know how the Intersectional Inclusion Roadmap™ can help your organisation to increase belonging in the workplace, book a 15-minute consult below