Intersectionality at Work: South Asian Muslim Women’s Experiences of Employment and Leadership in the United Kingdom

Sex Roles
2017
Authors: 

Abstract:

Drawing on qualitative interviews with 20 South Asian heritage, Muslim, female leaders, managers, and supervisors in the United Kingdom, we examine the multi-layered issues and challenges they face in pursuit of employment and leadership positions. The paper offers an intersectional perspective taking into account interconnected and overlapping factors (gender, ethnicity, religion, and family status) that affect not only the issues and challenges these women face in the labour market but also the individual agency and strategies they use to overcome any obstacles in the way of their employment and career. The results show that although Muslim women continue to face a myriad of challenges in the workplace, they are also able to tackle some of these issues through their individual strategies and networks, such as personal networks and further education. The study highlights the need for policymakers and employers to consider intersectionality to enable ethnic minority women’s inclusion and leadership within and outside the workplace.