Multiple discrimination in the world of work by Prof. Colleen Sheppard

Multiple discrimination has always existed; yet it has not always been recognized as a legal concept. African-American women first spoke out about the ways in which single ground approaches to anti-discrimination law failed to capture the lived realities of inequalities linked to gender, race and ethnicity. Given the early mportance of racial and sexual equality rights movements, it is not surprising that the concept of multiple discrimination first emerged to describe the complex interplay of racial and gender inequalities. More recently, persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples, members of religious minorities, members of the LGBT community, the elderly and youth have also been increasingly vocal about how their experiences of disadvantage and exclusion are deeply affected by the multiple dimensions of their identity. Thus, many forms of multiple discrimination are becoming more widely recognized (e.g. disability and age, religion and age, race and disability, ethnic origin, religion and sexual orientation). Economic vulnerability and social class also impact upon the multidimensional and complex character of discrimination.