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Ian Dodds Consulting’s (IDC) Monthly Best Practice: July 2014

By Ian Dodds – The Inclusion Builder

The importance of role models and Inclusion Champions to drive inclusion

This week I have been at two events concerned with the Power of Inclusion, although they did not use this term, and at both the importance of role models was discussed and emphasised. Interestingly, none of the people leading the discussions on these topics referred to the reason why role models are so important. The key cause is ‘Stereotype Bias Threat’. This involves individuals unconsciously picking up messages about their worth. For example, women who do not see female role models at senior levels in their organisations may unconsciously have their confidence and determination to seek careers in senior management damaged. Moreover, a lot of laboratory studies have shown that stereotype bias threat can result in people from a particular group performing less well in organisations where they perceive that they are negatively stereotyped (Elise Kalokerinos, Courtney Von Hipple and Hannes Zacher, The University of Queensland).

Over the years IDC consultants have coached many senior women, minority ethnic and LGBT people to enable them to be confident about themselves and to be able to behave authentically. These people are often operating in white, masculine cultures and there is a pressure on them to adopt the behaviours that are unconsciously expected in that organisation (Prof Rosabeth Moss Kanter). This explains why in many of the women’s focus groups that we have conducted the women tell us that they do not consider the senior women in their organisations to be role models for them. Hence, behaving authentically is critical for a senior person to act as a role model.

We also deliver workshops and coaching to enable key people in organisations to be Inclusion Champions. A key aspect of this role is encouraging people to be authentic to themselves. The training that we provide to Inclusion Champions includes:

  1. Understanding the business case for behaving inclusively.

  2. Understanding their organisation’s D&I strategy and what this means in terms of delivering behavioural change.

  3. Understanding the behaviours that they need to role model to be exemplars in fostering inclusion.

  4. Understanding gender differences and the impact that these have on how men and women interact with others, problem solve and make things happen.

  5. Understanding the concept of unconscious bias and how it plays out in relation to gender differences.

  6. Understanding the importance to inclusion and great teams of interactive effectiveness.

  7. Developing the skills in the interactive behaviours they need to be interactive effectiveness coaches.

If you would like to know more about the work we do with clients in this are please contact us.

Dr Ian Dodds,



IDC Academy Online: http://idcacademyonline.com/

29 June 2014

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