Intersectional Practice 101 with Nimo Hersi, Disability Advocate Coordinator at WIRE

“It’s human to have assumptions, but it should never affect your work.”

Nimo Hersi is a disability advocate from an East African background and a mother of two. She has been working in the disability advocacy space with WIRE as part of the Financial Capability Program. Nimo answered questions about how she views intersectional practice as part of WIRE’s Intersectional Financial Wellness video series.

What is intersectional practice to you? 

Nimo: “To me, practicing proper intersectionality can act as a map that can direct any financial capability worker towards ways of equity and inclusion, and a fair system for all. But it’s my personal belief that you cannot practice intersectionality fairly if you are a racist person, or a person who has any traits of racism, bias, assumption, or any other negative belief about a particular group. Be it religion, race, gender identity or ability.” 

What doesn’t work? 

Nimo: “What doesn’t work about financial capability programs is when I get questioned about the order I prioritise my intersecting barriers, and I’ll tell you why. To me, it’s easy for me to address barriers that are related to my ability because my ability is just one part of my identity, but my race and barriers related to race are my core being, and that cuts really deep.” 

What can financial service programmers do to make their programs more intersectional? 

Nimo: “I really cannot emphasise enough the importance of letting the person who experiences the injustice tell you how it affects them, without having the need to step in or second guess what they say. And if this is happening in your practice, it means intersectionality is being limited or not implemented at all.” 

What is some essential intersectional content for professionals to take away? 

Nimo: “I think sticking to project parameters and knowing our role well enough to know that assumption can never be part of our practice. It’s human to have assumptions, but it should never affect your work.” 


This article was extracted from the Intersectional Financial Wellness video series which was produced as part of the Women’s Financial Capabilities Project led by WIRE in partnership with Good Shepherd Australia and New Zealand, First Nations Foundation, Brotherhood of St Laurence, Women with Disabilities Victoria and Financial Counselling Australia. The Project is supported by the Victorian Government

Bread + Roses are a program incubator and consultancy service, dedicated to economic empowerment of women. They work with organisations and government bodies, corporates and not-for-profits to develop impactful and innovative ways to ensure that the financial resilience and economic equality of women is met.

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