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Seeing and Overcoming the Complexities of Intersectionality

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Faculty of Science, Charles Sturt University, 2678 Wagga Wagga, Australia
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Agriculture & Food, CSIRO, 2601 Canberra, Australia
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National Centre for the Public Awareness of Science, Australian National University, 2601 Canberra, Australia
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Human Resources Division, Australian National University, 2601 Canberra, Australia
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Diversity Inclusion Belonging, CSIRO, 2113 North Ryde, Australia
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People & Diversity, University of Canberra, 2617 Canberra, Australia
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Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE), 2601 Canberra, Australia
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Challenges 2021, 12(1), 5; https://doi.org/10.3390/challe12010005
Received: 8 January 2021 / Revised: 27 January 2021 / Accepted: 1 February 2021 / Published: 5 February 2021
Background: Intersectionality contests that individuals have multiple characteristics in their identity that cannot be siloed or deemed exclusive to each other. Understanding and utilising an intersectional lens in organisations can increase inclusion of individuals and organisational performance. An educational package known as the Intersectionality Walk (IW) was developed by the authors, piloted, and evaluated in order to break down the commonly held descriptors of diversity silos that fragments inclusion, and to understand how various identity characteristics compound disadvantage. The paper outlines the need to transition from siloed views of diversity to a more intrinsic view of identity to achieve inclusivity. Methods: The IW was developed and trialled with a series of work-based scenarios and realistic multifaceted personas. Data collection occurred pre- and post-IW utilising a mixed methods approach. Responses to Likert scale surveys and open-ended questions were captured and analysed via inductive and grounded theory perspectives. Results: An improved awareness and understanding of individual knowledge, reflectivity and positionality relating to intersectionality and intersectional approaches was reported on completion of the IW. Furthermore, responses reported how and why organisations can approach and improve inclusivity via using intersectional approaches. Conclusions: The IW as an educational package has a positive impact and is a key linkage for all employers to build an inclusive culture and to harness the talent of all employees. Further research will occur to measure the implemented change in organisations following the IW. View Full-Text
Keywords: intersectionality; gender equity; Intersectionality Walk; organisational change; inclusion; strategy; STEMM; diversity intersectionality; gender equity; Intersectionality Walk; organisational change; inclusion; strategy; STEMM; diversity
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MDPI and ACS Style

Thomas, C.; MacMillan, C.; McKinnon, M.; Torabi, H.; Osmond-McLeod, M.; Swavley, E.; Armer, T.; Doyle, K. Seeing and Overcoming the Complexities of Intersectionality. Challenges 2021, 12, 5. https://doi.org/10.3390/challe12010005

AMA Style

Thomas C, MacMillan C, McKinnon M, Torabi H, Osmond-McLeod M, Swavley E, Armer T, Doyle K. Seeing and Overcoming the Complexities of Intersectionality. Challenges. 2021; 12(1):5. https://doi.org/10.3390/challe12010005

Chicago/Turabian Style

Thomas, Cate; MacMillan, Colleen; McKinnon, Merryn; Torabi, Hayley; Osmond-McLeod, Megan; Swavley, Ellen; Armer, Tamzen; Doyle, Kimberley. 2021. "Seeing and Overcoming the Complexities of Intersectionality" Challenges 12, no. 1: 5. https://doi.org/10.3390/challe12010005

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