Equity In Design Report Cover

Equity in Design:

Applying an Intersectional Equity Framework to Accelerate Change

What does it mean to lead with equity and an intersectional analysis to create change? How can organizations apply an Intersectional Equity Framework™ to target solutions with community at the center, change narratives, and create a world where all women and girls are able to lead and thrive?

This Women’s Foundation of Minnesota (WFMN) report provides historical context and articulates strategies to advance the work of gender and racial equity.

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How to Apply the Intersectional Equity Framework

We use an Intersectional Equity Framework™ to analyze how the intersecting identities of individuals and communities impact their systemic access to opportunity, well-being, and equity. The framework is a power analysis to create the conditions so that all people have what they need to thrive. Philanthropy and organizations seeking to advance impact and equity must put intersectional equity into practice to create equitable access to rights, opportunities, and resources. We apply this framework to our research, grantmaking, public policy agenda, and organizational effectiveness.

“There is no such thing as a single-issue struggle because we do not live single-issue lives.”

— Audre Lorde

WFMN Intersectional Equity Framework

3 Steps to Apply the
Intersectional Equity Framework:


ANALYZE – Use quantitative and qualitative data together to explore issues across gender, race, place, and additional identities (ethnicity, sovereignty, socioeconomic class, age, disability, LGBTQ+, immigration status). How are different and intersecting identities uniquely or disproportionately impacted by systems?


CO-CREATE – Design and implement strategies and solutions with impacted communities at the center. Building equity into all aspects of program design is the only way to ensure equity in outcomes and create meaningful change.


MAXIMIZE IMPACT – Using equity-focused strategies and practices promotes continuous growth and learning and has the potential to leverage impact across sectors.

By applying the Intersectional Equity Framework™, we can see the leadership women of color – and all women – on the frontlines of change. We can envision a world where equity and transformation is possible.

Embedded in our framework is a doctrine that centers, amplifies, and invests in people who experience the greatest barriers and inequities.

Minnesota Gender Wage Gap Graphi

Working from the Margins Creates Stronger Solutions

4 Guiding Principles to Advance Intersectional Equity:

  1. Employ a multi-solution approach to address people in communities who live multi-issue lives.
  2. Apply an Intersectional Equity Framework™ to yield more effective and efficient solutions.
  3. Adopt a learner-growth mindset to co-create solutions.
  4. Ground your Intersectional Equity Frameworks in hope that real change is possible.

Discover Equity Strategies to Accelerate Change

“We need a feminist to be at the table when decisions are being made so that the right decisions will be made.”

— Dolores Huerta

Conduct Qualitative and Quantitative Research to ensure equity and representation in grant making and policy work.

Center Community Expertise to restore, reconcile, and build trust necessary to help the community,

Co-Create Solutions to Design Initiatives with communities as the leaders of change and being an integral voice in the development of a better vision.

Lead Collaborative Implementation: Collaborating with multiple cross-sector partners is crucial to tackling inequity.

Invest in Leadership: Philanthropic foundations funding leadership development programs are important in forming a diverse group of women ready to lead.

Invest in Capacity-Building to Resource Equity: Funders must be aware of where they are distributing their resources and look into closing structural gaps by ensuring organizations led by women of color are resourced at the same level as larger, more resourced counterparts.

Evaluate, Reflect, and Refine: Evaluation allows for learning and course correction, having dynamic evaluation, viewing progress from all sides, the ability to adapt new tactics, refine strategies, and identify new opportunities provides more effective change in the community.

Equity In Design Report Cover

Request the full report today!

Take an in-depth look at the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota’s Intersectional Equity Framework™ and discover how you can accelerate positive change and work to change systems so that inclusive and expansive solutions can flourish and no one gets left behind.

The report also provides an insight into three powerful case studies illustrating the effectiveness of applying the Intersectional Equity Framework™ to strategies and solutions.

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