The Engineer: Intersectionality
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Hi Everyone! Hope you guys are having a good day/week. This week we'll be talking about gender inequalities within our field. Disclaimer: this post won't have any one size fits all solutions. It's going to be a post expressing my feelings and frustrations in terms of gender equality. Hope you enjoy!
There's been several reports circulating around revealing the ALARMING statistics about Women and Minorities in STEM in regards to numbers and within pay. For context, Women in STEM make $16,000 less than their male counterparts and Black and Hispanics make $14,000 less than their white counterparts (source: The Wired). These statistics are jarring but not surprising. When I look around my surroundings every day, I see these statistics at face value.
Now that these numbers are out in the open. You see big corporations address these statistics stating that they have a "plan" to fix those numbers and have hired someone (usually a Black Women) to be the Chief Diversity Officer. While it's good that there is a plan of action at least being promoted, a lot of the big diversity efforts as a first phase it seems like there is a big push to increase the number.
As a woman, I am more than excited to see more women in the positions that they deserve and have worked hard to be there for. However, often times when I've seen pushes for an increase in woman, its very seldom do I see more Black Women in those spaces. When talking about how to increase the amount of black women or programming specific to the needs of black women, nothing is really said and it's frustrating. Often times when I attend meetups or networking events geared towards women, I don't feel included in the narrative. The issues that I face as a black women working in STEM are far different that some of my other women counterparts and there should be strategies and plans addressing those demographics in order to truly work towards being a diverse and inclusive company.
Intersectionality: the interconnected nature of social categorizations such as race, class, and gender as they apply to a given individual or group, regarded as creating overlapping and interdependent systems of discrimination or disadvantage. I am both BLACK and a WOMAN. I cannot claim one without thinking about the other and I shouldn't have to. My issues and struggles may be different but they aren't any less valid and they shouldn't be treated as such.
As I think about my frustrations, I'm glad to have a platform such as MacScientists to showcase that we are here and we are flourishing. As we face challenges day to day we know that we have a job to do and we are out to make a difference.
What are your thoughts on the notion of Diversity and Inclusion? Let us know?