Episode 77: Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging in Coaching

To make real progress in equitable employee development, coaching needs to become a more inclusive space. This episode is an in-depth conversation about real-life examples and techniques for supporting minority-background clients with issues ranging from prejudice, identity crises and belonging in a majority-dominated workplace.

Salma Shah is the CEO of coaching and leadership development platform Mastering Your Power and the author of Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging in Coaching: A Practical Guide. Salma has worked with the UK's largest FTSE100 companies, and she has been published in The Guardian, Independent, The Telegraph, and Psychologies Magazine.

If you enjoy the show, please rate it on Spotify and write a one-sentence review. Your ratings and reviews help more people like you discover the podcast!

Episode Highlights


Why lack of coach diversity is a problem


Common coaching needs of minorities who work in majority spaces


Differences in behavior change expectations: HR and coaching client


"You're not like me, so how could you possibly coach me?"


Helping clients feel safe opening up


Why it's essential to take coaching clients' systems into account.


Minority women caught between work and family systems conflict


The RISEN model


Pitfalls in coaching minorities on the topic of belonging


The journey of cultivating a greater sense of belonging


The difference between healthy and dysfunctional resilience


Making teams more inclusive for minorities


The case for more diversity in coaching

Salma’s view on the greatest unmet wellbeing need at work today

"People are tired and wired, burnt out. We've just had a pandemic. And people are just so emotionally and physically tired and wired. And I feel we need to create a culture of [being able to] switch technology off [and] push people toward having conversations face to face, [adopt] rules such as no work after 5pm on a Friday."

What “working with humans” means to Salma

“Connection. It's all about connection. Connecting with each other at a human level. There's always always a place of connection. And it's looking for that and coming from that place.”


Follow: Salma on LinkedIn
Visit: Mastering Your Power
Read: Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging in Coaching: A Practical Guide

Michael Glazer is the creator and host of Humans At Work. His purpose in life is to make well-being at work a globally-accepted, basic human right. Learn more about Michael here.