Elevate your DEI efforts to be more inclusive and equitable
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What is Intersectionality?
Most DEI efforts operate in a silo- one for race, one for gender identity, one for sexual orientation, and so on. The reality is, we show up as all of these things at the same time.
It's time to elevate our DEI efforts to incorporate intersectionality.
Intersectionality occurs when a person identifies with multiple marginalized and privileged demographics. Intersectionality also includes the impact various systems have on people depending on their identities.
Let's break this down!
Our Intersectional Identity
You've probably talked about diversity by discussing one demographic at a time- what does It mean to be a woman, how do women experience the world, how can we be more inclusive of women, and so on. The next step is to consider the intersection of two or more identities- what does it mean to be a Black woman, how do Black women experience the world, how can we be more inclusive of Black women, and so on.
Systems are all around us. Healthcare is a system. Education is a system. The legal system, etc. You even have systems in your organization made up of policies, programs, and procedures. The other aspect of intersectionality that is important for an elevated DEI effort is to better understand how these systems impact people at the intersection. You probably have data to show how the individual groups experience your organization, but what about people at the intersection? Can you articulate how you your policies and programs impact people are the intersection?
How Did We Get Here?
Remember the Periodic Table of Elements from Chemistry class? The Table of Diversity is a similar tool, but instead of chemical elements, it is diversity elements!
Think back to your high school or college chemistry class. Your instructor probably began by describing elements like Oxygen and Hydrogen. These individual elements are important for us to understand and contribute to our ability to breathe and survive.
Now, think about those more advanced chemistry classes. You probably learned about compounds or the unique combination of elements like H2O, or water. The compounds are just as important for our survival! Both the individual elements and compounds were equally important for to learn back in those chemistry classes.
We should think of diversity the same way.
It's important for us to know and understand the individual diversity elements. We need to know what it's like for women to experience the world. We need to recognize the experience that LGBTQIA+ people have in the world. We need to acknowledge the experience of Native Americans. But, we can't stop there. We must make space for the intersections of these identities and the unique experience it leads to.
Decide Diversity offers two Intersectionality workshops:
- Intersectionality for all staff. In this all staff training, we introduce the concept of Intersectionality, provide a brief history of Intersectionality, and share how to reframe your thinking to incorporate Intersectionality in your day-to-day interactions.
- Intersectionality for leaders. In this leadership training, we focus on how you can infuse Intersectionality into your strategies and practices. We analyze current processes and programs to determine intersectional effectiveness and work through best practices for elevating DEI.
The Table of Diversity Toolkit provides access to a 12-month program for individual support. Get monthly support from Demetria and a community of leaders on a journey of learning and unlearning.
Get a Table of Diversity Workbook, access to an online portal with additional resources, and an online community.