What is intersectionality

Intersectionality is a term coined by Legal and critical race scholar, Kimberlé Crenshaw, that describes how social identities - gender, race, education, class, age, sexual orientation, disability, religion, etc - overlap or intersect. For example, while white women and black women may both be subject to sexism in the workplace, the intersection of race and gender means this discrimination shows up differently for different women.

Intersectionality and male allyship programs

Without conscious intention, most male allyship efforts end up defaulting to white feminism – which means that when we use the word "women" we're talking about "white women" the vast majority of the time. Male allyship clubs at business schools are no exception, even if many of the members and leadership are women of color. In business school and the corporate world, it almost always takes conscious intention to include women of color speakers, experiences, articles, panelists, and facilitators. This means planning takes a bit more time, but if you do it from the start, it isn't that much more work. Some ways to take a new direction:

  • Host event in partnership with different affinity groups on campus (race, sexual orientation, nationality
  • Seek out speakers with different sexual orientations, nationality, ability, etc.
  • Share articles by authors of with different sexual orientations, nationality, ability, etc.
  • Only have multiracial panels
  • Make women of color the default as you send communications internally and externally