'There is no thing as a single-issue struggle because we do not live single-issue lives' - Audre Lorde.
There needs to be urgent work in removing barriers for Black Disabled women accessing or while in employment. I am mindful that Black Disabled women tend to be excluded from discussions in diversity and inclusion agendas. I have regular conversations with employers who are looking to improve diversity and inclusion for people accessing their services but rarely are their conversations about their employees, there is a marginalisation for conversations about race, disability, and intersectionality. When mentioned, about Black Disabled women in employment, immediate responses tend to separate identities or blame the individuals for the barriers they experience.
I am always intrigued, and left wondering how many Black Disabled women work for you? and are accessing your services that you are not aware of. And as a result of the lack of inclusion is there then a fear around disclosing? Speaking from an inclusive standpoint, Black Disabled women in employment should not have to validate their experiences for inclusive change to occur in any working environment. I urge companies to ask themselves one question, what are we actively and intentionally doing to make inclusive impactful changes for Black Disabled women across the employment sector? Doing nothing or being oblivious to the barriers faced, doesn’t speak louder than the intentional and impactful work to tackle the ongoing issues in the workplace.