We have recently been doing more work in the space of Intersectionality. As a practitioner working many years in Diversity & Inclusion, it is interesting to observe the ways in which the area is evolving and the different approaches that are
being incorporated to better understand, frame and apply the D&I principles. The term and theory of Intersectionality has been around for at least 30 years. It emerged in the US when lawyer Kimberle Crenshaw used the theory to describe the way hiring
practices at General Motors favoured white women in administration and black men in assembly but effectively discriminated against black women. Intersectionality addresses the intersecting layers of our identity that can be visible or invisible that can
lead to marginalisation. In terms of modern applications, it is a useful tool when applied to policy, equity and access. It also provides an opportunity to explore the elements of privilege and oppression that are sometimes not apparent. This impacts on
the systems and structures throughout our society and often gets missed when attempting to navigate Diversity and Inclusion.
To quote Crenshaw, “Treating different things the same can generate as much inequality as treating the same things differently.”
Hence the need to employ an intersectional view to investigate how different groups through their diversity and layers, can be impacted by seemingly standardised approaches to all aspects of life and society.
In what ways are you able to apply the intersectional approach to your own work and life that may bring about more inclusion and openness to diversity?