Intersectionality is a term that was coined by American professor Kimberlé Crenshaw in her 1989 essay, Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex: A Black Feminist Critique of Antidiscrimination Doctrine, Feminist Theory and Antiracist Politics:
"The view that women experience oppression in varying configurations and in varying degrees of intensity. Cultural patterns of oppression are not only interrelated, but are bound together and influenced by the intersectional systems of society. Examples of this include race, gender, class, ability, and ethnicity.”
The concept of intersectionality is becoming a critical part of the inclusion conversation particularly when trying to understand challenges and barriers for diverse employees. Multiple strands of diversity can affect a person's experience of discrimination and their workplace advancement as the more diverse a person is, the more discrimination they tend to experience. This is reinforced in InterLaw Diversity Forum's 2012 report, Career Progression in the Legal Sector, as well as in the Tax on Being Different research by 2017 Apollo Project winner Vivienne Ming.
InterLaw Diversity Forum's resident filmmaker, Adam Hamish Haggerty, explored how diverse employees self-identify and asked our key allies and friends to explain what intersectionality means to them.