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Why Intersectionality is the new normal, if companies are serious about fostering inclusive innovation

Source | LinkedIn | Balaji Ganapathy | Executive Leader | HR | CSR | D&I | Business | Championing access, equity, inclusion through purpose, people, technology

Last week, I had the opportunity to speak at a thought leadership forum that Tata Consultancy Services hosted in partnership with the British American Business, in New York City. The series titled “Exploring Intersectionality in a Business 4.0 World: Empowering Innovation Through Inclusion takes a deep dive into how organizations can foster conscious inclusion by accepting and designing for intersectionality as the new normal.

The subject of this forum is an important one, exploring how leaders, practitioners and advocates advancing diversity and inclusion need to address the new reality: Intersectionality.

“Intersectionality recognizes that each individual has many different identities; demographic (race, gender, veteran status, sexual orientation etc.), social status, economic position, generational, community (urban, suburban, rural), disability and more. These different identities in unison (not in isolation), define our experiences in life and at work.”

However, most companies still rely on traditional notions of diversity in their efforts towards building more inclusive workplaces. They may ground their diversity initiatives by defining specific groups they wish to have better represented in their workforce – including minorities, women, individuals with disabilities, veterans, LGBTQ individuals. However, individual employees could fit within more than one of those identities. As a result, many diversity programs and initiatives have segmented the identities of employees in their own workplace – potentially creating silos of identity that by design do not consider for the expression of multiple, but equally important aspects of their identity.

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