What is double discrimination and intersectionality bias and what to do about it
Bias isn’t limited to gender.
Alongside everyone else, women can also experience bias due to their race, sexual orientation, a disability, or other aspects of their identity.
When different types of discrimination interconnect and overlap, this is called intersectionality.
For example, women of colour often face double discrimination as they face biases because they are women and biases for being people of color.
To give you an example, in a meeting about hiring for a senior role that requires travel, someone questions whether a Latina would want to be away from her family that much. This is based on the assumption that family ties are much more important to Latina women.
How to challenge this:
- Always question the statement and ask the person to explain why they are making the assumption and whether it is worth checking with the person involved.
- Ask questions such as “what makes you think that?” This may make people realise their comment isn’t based on hard evidence.
- Ask them to explain and think about why it happens. In this case, Latinas are often stereotyped as having lots of kids and not being career-oriented.
- Recommend asking how candidates feel about the travel requirements. Let them speak for themselves.