Intersectionality: Time to drop the one-size-fits-all approach

Intersectionality – the term, coined by Kimberlé Crenshaw, brings a lens that is really important for us to understand….

Intersectionality is the multiple layers of individuals that we are. It’s not just considering race, sexual orientation, disability, class, socio-economic background, education and so on. These strands individually can cause marginalisation, bias and/or discrimination against an individual…. but intersectionality finally identifies and recognises that having or identifying with multiple strands brings in a whole additional complexity of whatever marginalisation, bias and/or discrimination that you would typically face with one of those identities. It is exacerbated because you have multiple.

For example, as a Black woman I could face discrimination or marginalisation not just for being Black but also for being a woman. So when we are creating programmes of work for women, or recruitment campaigns for women, or policies to support our women, are we thinking about the impact on multiple different women? What if you are a disabled woman? What if you are a Muslim woman? What if you are a Black disabled woman? What if you are White gay woman? It means the experiences of all of these women that we are creating this one programme for differs. We need to get better at understanding intersectionality…. there’s still a lot of learning to do and the journey continues.

Stop. Making. Excuses.

– Vanessa Johnson-Burgess CEO, Inclusive Recruiting

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