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  • Writer's pictureDini Habib

Advancing Gender Equity, inclusively.

Bridging the Gap: Ensuring Gender Equity Programmes are intersectional

In the pursuit of gender equity, the importance of designing and implementing programmes that cater to the diverse experiences across all women, female-identifying people, and non-binary people across the spectrum cannot be overstated. While strides have been made in advancing women's rights and opportunities, it's crucial to recognise that not all progress is felt equally.

 

The experiences of white cisgender women have often been at the forefront of these advances, leaving LGBTQ+ women and women of diverse ethnic backgrounds navigating a more complex terrain towards equity. This blog explores the vital need for intersectionality in gender equity programs, featuring insights from women across the spectrum of gender, race and sexual identity, illustrating why a one-size-fits-all approach falls short.

 

Intersectionality: The Core of Inclusive Equity Programmes

Intersectionality, a term coined by Kimberlé Crenshaw, emphasises how different aspects of social and political identities (gender, race, class, sexuality, etc.) combine to create unique modes of discrimination and privilege. In the context of gender equity, acknowledging intersectionality means recognising that LGBTQ+ women, non-binary individuals, trans women, and women of diverse ethnic backgrounds face additional layers of discrimination that white cisgender women might not experience.

 

The Voices of Experience

To understand the importance of intersectionality in gender equity, consider the perspectives of those who live at these intersections:

 

  • Chloe Davies (she/her), Founder of It Takes a Village, said: "Our struggles are multifaceted. It's not just about gender; it's about race, it's about who we love. Programmes that aim to advance women's status need to recognise these layers to truly uplift all women. When we design with the most marginalised in mind, everyone benefits."


  • Thea Bardot (they/she), Founder of Lightning Travel Recruitment, added: "Trans women are women, yet our experiences are increasingly side-lined in conversations about gender equity. True progress means ensuring that programs are not only inclusive in theory but in practice, addressing the specific challenges Trans women face in accessing healthcare, employment, and social acceptance."


  • Maggie Lower (she/her), Portfolio NED and Chair of Grindr, reflects: "Intersectionality should be more than a buzzword; it needs to be a foundational principle in our fight for gender equity. Queer women encounter unique barriers, and recognising this is the first step towards dismantling them. Equity programs must be dynamic, evolving with our understanding of gender and sexuality."

 

Ensuring Equity for All

Here are some actionable steps:

1.Inclusive Design and Implementation: Programmes must be co-designed with input from a diverse group of people, including female-identifying and non-binary people, ensuring that they address the varied challenges and barriers these different groups of people face.

 

2.Data-Driven Approaches: Collecting and analysing data disaggregated by race, gender identity, and sexual orientation can help identify specific disparities and target interventions more effectively.

 

3.Continual Learning and Adaptation: Gender equity programs should be dynamic, and capable of evolving as our understanding of gender and diversity grows. This includes regular reviews and adjustments based on feedback from the communities they aim to serve.

 

4.Amplify Diverse Voices: Elevating the voices and experiences of LGBTQ+ women and women of diverse ethnic backgrounds in policy-making, programme design, and public discourse is essential for crafting truly inclusive solutions.

 

Advancing gender equity is a complex challenge that requires a nuanced understanding of the diverse experiences of all women. By embracing intersectionality and committing to inclusive, adaptive program design, we can ensure that our efforts to promote gender equity truly benefit everyone.

 

We are so excited to be bringing the voices of these exceptional women to our next free Clu’d Up Employers Club event on 28th March on the topic of Improving gender equity, inclusively.

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