What Is Intersectionality & Who Are The Best 10 Speakers To Hire?
Diversity is a popular topic at corporate events, as companies and organisations endeavour to perfect their D&I policies. A key factor of diversity and inclusion is intersectionality, the idea that a person can be discriminated against due to multiple unique traits.
Intersectionality is defined by how a person’s social or political identities are combined to create different types of discrimination and privilege. The term was coined by Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw, and includes factors such as race, sexuality, class, religion, disability, caste, gender, physical appearance and height. Individuals are often reduced to specific demographic factors, and so it is important for workforces to abolish discrimination that may affect the most marginalised in society.
“There are many, many different kinds of intersectional exclusions- not just black women but other women of colour. Not just people of color, but people with disabilities. Immigrants. LGBTQ people. Indigenous people”
“Intersectionality is an analytic sensibility, a way of thinking about identity and its relationship to power. Originally articulated on behalf of black women, the term brought to light the invisibility of many constituents within groups that claim them as members but often fail to represent them” – Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw
Top 10 intersectionality speakers
We are fortunate to work with a diverse range of speakers, many of whom share their stories of how social and political factors shape their identity. Below we have selected the top 10 speakers who share their stories and thoughts on intersectionality.
Ade Adepitan has faced more adversity than most, having contracted polio as a child which left him with damaged legs. Despite such adversity, Ade has overcome the challenges that faced him and has since played Wheelchair Basketball for Team GB and been appointed MBE for services to disability sport. Named on the Powerlist of the 100 Most Influential Black British People, Ade often speaks out about systematic racism and is viewed as a strong figure of hope in the young Black and disabled community.
Nicola Adams is one of the most successful British female boxers, who broke glass ceilings with her performance at the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympic Games. The first female and openly LGBTQ+ boxer to become an Olympic Gold medallist, Nicola is now booked as a speaker to share her thoughts on important subjects like racism, homophobia and female empowerment. Having been named on the DIVA Powerlist and the 101 Most Influential LGBT People in Britain, Nicola brings awareness to the discrimination that continues to face women, the LGBT community and Black people.
Harnaam Kaur made headlines with her unique appearance, often nicknamed ‘the woman with the beard’. Diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, Harnaam spent years removing her facial hair before deciding to not change who she truly was and accept her physical appearance. Converting to Sikhism at 16, Harnaam now shares her story of growing up as religious and female with a unique physical appearance, and how she has overcome bullying to be the confident and empowered woman she is today.
Inga Beale is an influential female business leader, having broken glass ceilings with her appointment as the first female CEO of Lloyds of London. Pioneering her sector as an empowering woman, Inga also improved the workplace at Lloyds for LGBT employees, openly bisexual herself, creating Pride@Lloyds. Also making headlines as the first female and openly bisexual person to be honoured on the OUTstanding & FT Leading LGBT Executive Power List, when booked as a speaker Inga shares her story as a woman and member of the LGBTQ+ community in power.
Ellie Simmonds is a leading Paralympian who has had the British public in awe of her swimming talent. Born with Achondroplasia, Ellie competed in the s6 disability category and claimed five Paralympic Gold medals, as well as being appointed OBE for her services to Paralympic Sport. A Patron of the Dwarf Sports Association UK, when booked as a speaker Ellie shares her story of growing up with a disability and how she can do whatever she sets her mind to, empowering other female athletes around the world to follow in her footsteps.
Maggie Alphonsi has scaled her sector as an inspirational Black woman, making headlines as the first woman to win the Pat Marshall Award after her retirement from rugby in 2014. Having been inducted into the World Rugby Hall of Fame and named Sunday Times Sportswoman of the Year, Maggie is an inspirational and successful female figure in a male-dominated industry. Booked as a speaker, Maggie discusses the lack of Black female rugby players and encourages their participation in sport, bringing awareness to discrimination that continues to plague the top-tier sport.
Martine Wright is famed for her talents as a sitting volleyball player, who represented Team GB at the London 2012 Paralympic Games. Having lost both her legs after falling victim to the 7/7 London bombings, in which she lost 80% of her blood and spent several days in a coma, Martine inspires all with her determination to overcome adversity. Booked as an inspirational female speaker, Martine shares her experience of living with a disability and inspires other women to be resilient in the face of disaster.
After falling victim to a horrific acid attack, organised by her ex-boyfriend, Katie Piper has inspired women around the world after rebuilding her life. Left with facial disfigurement, Katie has undergone multiple surgeries to reconstruct her face and promotes self-confidence and body positivity with a series of her own books and TV programmes. Booked as a speaker, Katie pushes the importance of not letting physical appearance define who you are and is also booked as an International Women’s Day speaker.
Andreena Leeanne is a relatable and passionate member of the LGBT community, who shares her story as a working-class Black lesbian. The founder of the Poetry LGBT Open and the author of CHARRED: A Survivor Speaks Her Truth To Inspire, Andreena empowers others to speak their truth. Named one of Stonewall’s Black History Month Role Models in 2018 and shortlisted for a National Diversity Award, book Andreena for a passionate speech from a member of the Black and LGBTQ+ community.
Kanya King is the famed founder of the MOBO Awards, a series of awards that recognise artists from Black backgrounds. Sharing her story of being a young mother who went on to dominate the music industry, Kanya inspires all as an industry-leading woman and with her passion to reward members of the Black community. Named as one of Britain’s Most Entrepreneurial Women and on the Powerlist of Britain’s Most Influential Black People, book Kanya as an inspirational female speaker who advocates for Black people’s achievements.
Yasmin Benoit is a leading Black model, who is changing the world as an Asexual and Aromantic activist. Named on the Visible100 List as a Community Campaigner, Yasmin made headlines as the founder of the #ThisIsWhatAsexualLooksLike and the co-founder of the International Asexuality Day. Also a board member of Asexual Visibility and Education Network, Yasmin is now booked as an intersectionality speaker to share her experiences as a member of the LGBTQIA+ community and as a Black female, empowering other marginalised people to be proud of who they are.
Laila El Metoui
Laila El Metoui is a talented Equity and Belonging Consultant, famed as the Founder of Educating OUT Racism and Pride in Education. Named Lesbian Role Model of the Year 2020 by Stonewall, Laila has also formerly been the Director of Adult Education for LGBT History Month and the Proud London Councils Chair. Now booked as an intersectionality speaker, Laila emphasises the importance of inclusion and belonging, ensuring that employers are inclusive of all regardless of the way they identify. Also nominated for the 2013 Positive Role Model Award at the National Diversity Awards, Laila covers topics such as unconscious bias, micro-aggression, privilege and allyship, emphasising how people can be subject to many forms of discrimination.
Book a speaker!
Intersectionality is a crucial factor in your diversity and inclusion policies – a fantastic way to do this is by booking a speaker who shares their perspectives on intersectionality. Whether they are sharing their perspectives on racism or feminism, these speakers are guaranteed to leave you with points to think over and ways to better your policies in the workplace.
Interested in booking a speaker? Browse our range of speakers on intersectionality and then get in contact! Ring on 0203 9816 297, fill in our online contact form or email directly at firstname.lastname@example.org