Do Internships Promote Existing Social Inequalities?

November 3 2021

In the last few years, internships have emerged to be the prestigious flower in the bouquet of CVs—which every student wants to add. However, not everyone has equal access to such opportunities. Why?


Internships at esteemed organisations can make you stand out in the job market, as you can claim to have practical experience. They end up excluding marginalised students though.

Being an intern is not only based on your skill(s), but also your social identities.  They isolate students who are already at the margins due to their class, caste, gender, ability, location etc.

They Add To One's Social Capital

Unpaid Internships Are Exclusionary

In our society where higher education is a luxury, can students from deprived backgrounds afford to have "field experience", when internships are unpaid with long working hours?

It becomes even more difficult for female students who are not allowed to leave their native towns: nearly every opportunity is located in metropolis.

What About Women's Issues?

Networks Are Everything

Internships are built around the networking between organisations, private colleges and elite parents.  Together, they influence opportunities that can be accessed by the marginalised.

Internships have the ability to change the hegemonic structure of our education and job economy, by providing a level playing field. They can mitigate cultural privileges, but instead, they promote cultural and social biases in our society.