It’s great to see the growth and innovation of the field of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). Individuals and organisations from all over the globe are joining the important journey of implementing strategies and continuously measuring, tracking, and improving.
However, with growing traction often comes greater challenges. Intersectionality is bringing complex sociological truths to the forefront. It’s an important time to note that nobody can be an expert in the lived experiences, challenges, and solutions of every underrepresented community.
Addressing Our Unconscious Biases
Every diverse community, and every diverse individual, will have unique perspectives and needs. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion isn’t easy – because when done right it shouldn’t be.
Every individual, regardless of their background or job title, will experience unconscious bias. DE&I change-makers are not an exception to this. Discrimination is rooted so deeply within capitalism, and the make-up of society, it’s easy for us to fail to understand where lots of our thoughts come from. In fact, bias and exclusion can often be so powerful that members of the targeted community will experience it themselves. Women experience internalised misogyny, members of the LGBTQIA+ community can experience internalised homophobia, Black people can experience internalised racism.
Many people take an interest in fighting for diversity and inclusion because of their lived experiences within an underrepresented community, or because of the experiences of people they care about. The empathy and connectedness within the DEI space is something that we should infiltrate into all organisations and institutions.
However, exclusion is still prevalent, and it’s something we must all be more conscious of. In societies across the globe we have feminists that fail to support Black women, we have minority groups that refuse to accept the LGBTQ+ community, we have members of the LGBTQ+ community that actively oppose the rights of our Trans population. The psychology of this is complex. In order to break the cycle we need not only more activism, but more open-mindedness and more togetherness.
How Can You Better Understand Intersectionality?
As professionals, we should ensure to keep up to date with political events surrounding human rights and equality, as well as consuming literature, art, and content from diverse groups to expand our perspectives. We must be willing to step out of our comfort zones to learn about the communities that live completely differently to the way we live. If we feel confused about a community, it’s a sign to learn more.
DE&I can be intimidating for those that fear getting things wrong, but remaining open to new ideas and being willing to learn can always lead to good things.
We’re lucky enough to live in a world with an exciting breadth of cultures, identities, and abilities. There is always more to learn and experience.
We can’t truly have equitable societies if we don’t include all communities. Fighting for the inclusion of people that are completely different to ourselves should be at the center of the progress we make moving forward.
Diversio Can Help You Understand Intersectionality in Your Organisation
As part of our Diversio platform, we consider intersectionality and enable the experiences of different communities within an organisation to be compared. This helps our clients to address challenges faced by specific communities and ensure that nobody is left behind on the journey of becoming inclusive to all talent.
By Liselle Sheard (Diversio Community Engagement Specialist)