In today’s workplace, companies have been expanding their D&I programs and initiatives to prioritize the experiences of marginalized groups – yet there still seems to be a disconnect. These same companies fail to implement incorporating D&I initiatives from an intersectional lens.
Black womxn live at the intersection of “double jeopardy”: a unique social condition that specifically impacts those who experience the microaggressions of racism and sexism aka Black Women. Y’all remember what Malcom X said!
The term was pioneered by Black feminist and activist Frances M. Beal in 1969 through her research on the consequences of double jeopardy, which shed light on its detrimental impact on Black womxn’s professional success.
Black trans women and femmes experience disproportionately higher rates of unemployment due to discrimination based on their perceived gender. This often leads to hostility and pressure to conceal their identities in the workplace. In fact, Black transgender people have an unemployment rate of 26 percent, which is twice the rate of the overall transgender sample and four times the rate of the general population.
With systemic barriers against Black womxn, like double jeopardy, it’s not plausible for Black womxn to thrive universally unless D&I taskforces incorporate more initiatives shaped around the intersectionality of both sex and race.
It is also not enough for any company to prioritize the vague goal of “expanding diversity” without making a distinct effort to understand the unique challenges that Black womxn face in the workplace. Legitimate diversity and inclusion can only be achieved when everyone has equal access to opportunities.
Black womxn are not just diversity tokens. True diversity and inclusion will not be achieved until Black womxn are seen, afforded the same opportunities as their colleagues, and paid what they are worth.
It is essential to highlight the value that Black womxn bring to the table. Companies must prioritize not only hiring Black womxn but must also create an environment that lets them thrive by valuing and utilizing the work that they do through equitable practices.