Developed by the SAGE ACT Regional Network, the Intersectionality Walk is an educational package for understanding how a person’s multiple identities can compound advantage or disadvantage.
Following a highly successful trial at a Catalysing Gender Equity 2020 workshop, the Walk has been delivered to over 50 organisations around the world.
How the Walk works
In the Walk, participants assume realistic, multifaceted personas in simulated work-based scenarios. Each persona has characteristics from vulnerable or minority population groups, for example in terms of their gender, age, socioeconomic status, cultural background, disability and sexuality.
The Walk provides a powerful way for participants to visualise how intersectionality plays out in real-life situations. By experiencing workplace scenarios in an assumed persona, participants can more easily empathise with the experiences of others. In guided reflection sessions, participants discuss the challenges of moving away from siloed approaches to organisational change, and identify opportunities to incorporate intersectionality into their gender equity work.
Participate in a Walk
We occasionally run Walks and facilitator training sessions for staff and students from SAGE subscribing institutions. Upcoming sessions are advertised in the SAGE Capacity Building newsletter. You can join our mailing list using the form at the bottom of the page (select “Gender equity resources”).
Facilitate your own Walk
You can use the resources below to facilitate an Intersectionality Walk at your organisation.
Start by watching this briefing video, which provides an overview of intersectionality in the context of the Women in the STEM Decadal Plan and the Athena Swan framework.
- Intersectionality Walk slide deck [.pptx, 2.95 MB]
- Facilitator guide and persona sheets | [PDF, 1.26 MB] or [.docx, 260 kB]
- Virtual walk tracker [.xlsx, 52 kB] for delivering online-only versions of the Walk
Impact of the Walk
The ACT Regional Network measured participants’ understanding of intersectionality before and after completing the Walk. The data showed that after completing the Walk, participants had a greater awareness of how intersectionality relates to workplace inclusion, and of the intersectional approaches they could use to achieve structural change.
Although research into the Walk is still ongoing, the initial findings suggest that the Walk is a valuable tool for employers to build an inclusive culture that harnesses the talent of all employees.
To learn more about the Walk and its impact, read the paper “Seeing and overcoming the complexities of intersectionality”. If you would like to contribute to the ACT Regional Network’s research on intersectionality, please contact the SAGE team.