Intersectionality: When Identities ConvergeDec 01, 2020
Intersectionality is a framework for understanding how social identities—such as gender, race, ethnicity, social class, religion, sexual orientation, ability, and gender identity—overlap with one another and with systems of power that oppress and advantage people in the workplace and broader community.
Intersectionality, a term coined by legal scholar Kimberlé Crenshaw in 1989, is not a code word for diversity. It is a framework for understanding different people’s varying experiences in the world.
Intersectionality is not about adding one aspect of identity to another. It is about how people with overlapping identities experience systems of power.
It is important to consider intersectionality in the workplace because our various identities impact our daily lives, affecting how we perceive the world and how the world perceives us. When we look at how our identities intersect, we see the unique lived experiences—of ourselves and others—through the lens of privilege, oppression, power, and marginalization. Who has power? Who gets the benefit of the doubt? Who doesn’t? Who is automatically included in groups? Who isn’t? How do you “show up” to other people? What do you do to control how others perceive you? What parts of your identity help you fit in? What parts of your identity make you stand out? The answers to all these questions are rooted in intersectionality.
How to cite this product: Ramos, C. & Brassel, S. (2020). Intersectionality: When Identities Converge. Catalyst.