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We continue to notice well-intentioned organizations developing “women-first” or “gender-centric” initiatives to support women in the workplace.  These initiatives often lead with the narrative that women need to be “fixed” or “empowered.”  And to do so, women are often told they need to stop marginalizing themselves, negotiate better, speak up, support each other, and strike a balance between work and home. But, women have always been doing these things.  What many women need is for their organizations to examine their policies, processes, procedures, and cultures and to identify inequities and deeply embedded biases that are in their way.
 

Women also need organizations to stop viewing them as a single homogenous group and acknowledge that women’s experiences and needs differ significantly. Such is the heart of “intersectionality,” a concept first coined by Kimberlé Crenshaw. It asks us to recognize these differences and put them into action to create equitable workplaces and a just world where all women can thrive. This is why we strive to ensure that our efforts are intersectional and encourage our clients to do the same. 
 

Women’s History Month is an important reminder to continue working towards intersectionality and allyship, not only during March but throughout the year. It’s about celebrating and uplifting ALL women, including those excluded from these very movements.
 

We’ve curated resources, guides, and tips for implementing intersectionality in your workplaces. We hope they can support you this month and beyond. 

Five Reminders For Your #IWD Celebrations and Discussions

Let’s Talk About Gender 🔎

A woman is anyone who identifies as such. This includes transgender women and people who experience womanhood across different intersectionalities such as race, class, citizenship, etc. We also know that patriarchy and misogyny affect people of multiple genders, such as non-binary femmes, transfeminine people, feminine-of-center folks, and people assigned female at birth. This means that we can’t label specific feminist issues and misogyny as “women's issues” because it excludes many people still affected by these oppression systems. 

If you haven’t already, learn the basic concepts and terminology surrounding gender and understand the differences between sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, and sexuality. This way, you’ll be able to have more productive conversations about womanhood and Women’s History Month.

20 Books on Gender Identity

Learn About Intersectional Practices 🔑

Include ALL marginalized gender identities in your conversations and activism. This includes considering how ableism, antisemitism, ageism, classism, cissexism, settler colonialism, colourism, racism, sexism, sizeism and other forms of systemic inequity affect people. If you or your organization implement a women-first approach, the chances are that you’ll be ignoring many other issues, most of which affect the women that you’re trying to help. 

Why a "Woman First" Approach Doesn't Work

How to Avoid Reinforcing the Gender Binary 🚫

Feminism should not force people into the definition of "woman" to include them in the movement. Instead, feminism should fully recognize non-binary people precisely for who they are and support them accordingly, especially in the workplace. The following guide offers comprehensive and concrete information to assist human resources departments across all sectors to promote non-binary inclusion and understanding.
Guide for Non-Binary Inclusion in the Workplace

What Does COVID-19 Have To Do With Gender?  🦠

Consider how current issues like COVID-19 are impacting people of marginalized genders and people who face multiple systems of oppression. It is no secret that the pandemic is systematically impacting people based on gender, race, socioeconomic status, sexuality and more. So it is critical to act quickly in order to alleviate these issues in our workplaces and anticipate crises like these in the future. 

How to Support Women of Colour During COVID

Podcasts We’re Loving 🎙️

Layla F. Saad (she, her), the Good Ancestor Podcast host, is a New York Times and Sunday Times bestselling author, anti-racism educator, international speaker, and podcast host on race, identity, leadership, personal transformation and social change. She is the author of the ground-breaking Me and White Supremacy (2020), an anti-racism education workbook. Check out her episode with Ruby Hamad (she, her) on how White Feminism Betrays Women of Colour. 

Good Ancestor Podcast

Virtual Events 🎟️

Logos of Perkins&Will, PIPSC, and Spinal Cord Injury Ontario.

What we’ve been up to 🗞️

We’re excited to start working with Spinal Cord Injury Ontario (SCIO), the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC) and Perkins & Will

Digital Land Acknowledgement

Feminuity was founded on land that is the traditional territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee, and the Wendat peoples, and it is home to many diverse First Nations, Inuit, and Metis peoples. 

While land acknowledgements allow us to reflect on physical spaces and the land they are on, a newsletter like this lives in a virtual space and is engaged with from a range of places. Each week we will amplify the work of Indigenous creators. 

Creator Feature 🎨 

Tania Willard (she, her), Secwepemc Nation, works within the shifting ideas of contemporary and traditional as it relates to cultural arts and production. Often working with bodies of knowledge and skills are conceptually linked to her interest in intersections between Aboriginal and other cultures. Willard has worked as a curator in residence with grunt gallery and Kamloops Art Gallery. Willard’s curatorial work includes Beat Nation: Art Hip Hop and Aboriginal Culture, a national touring exhibition first presented at Vancouver Art Gallery in 2011. As an assistant professor in Creative Studies at UBCO (Kelowna BC), her research focuses on Secwepemc aesthetics/language/land and interrelated Indigenous art practices. Willard’s projects include BUSH gallery, a conceptual space for land-based art and indigenous artists’ action.
Connect with Tania
P.S. If you’re having difficulty centring diversity, equity, and inclusion
within your organization reach out at hello@feminuity.org.
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