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‘Death by a thousand cuts’: visibly and culturally diverse women’s experiences of racial microaggressions in STEMM organisations


Moore, R and Nash, M, Death by a thousand cuts': visibly and culturally diverse women's experiences of racial microaggressions in STEMM organisations, Proceedings of Gender and Sexuality at Work: A Multidisciplinary Research and Engagement Conference, 18 February 2020, University of Melbourne, pp. 23-27. (2020) [Refereed Conference Paper]


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In this paper, we use an intersectional framework to explore how gender interacts with other aspects of identity, such as race, ethnicity and/or culture, to structure the microaggressions experienced by visibly and culturally diverse women in academia, industry and government. We focus on these women’s experiences to disrupt the normative erasure of race from the workplace diversity context. We conducted 30 semi-structured interviews with women in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) organisations who self-identify as women of colour and/or women from culturally diverse backgrounds (henceforth women of colour). While women of colour share many experiences with white women, their challenges cannot simply be subsumed under gender. Rather, race and gender intersect to create overlapping and interdependent systems of discrimination and disadvantage. Racial microaggressions can have a devastating impact yet may be invisible to members of the dominant racial group – those most likely to be women of colour’s peers and managers. White managers and peers can act as allies to women of colour by respecting and amplifying women’s concerns.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Conference Paper
Keywords:women in STEMM, race, women of colour, whiteness, allyship, microaggressions
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Sociology
Research Field:Sociology of migration, ethnicity and multiculturalism
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in human society
UTAS Author:Moore, R (Dr Robyn Moore)
UTAS Author:Nash, M (Associate Professor Meredith Nash)
ID Code:139586
Year Published:2020
Deposited By:Office of the School of Social Sciences
Deposited On:2020-06-23
Last Modified:2022-09-05
Downloads:24 View Download Statistics

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