Cultivating Inclusive Research Teams

Optional Preliminary Readings

Adams, Meyers, M., & Sekaja, L., (2020), “Positive Leadership: Relationships with Employee Inclusion, Discrimination, and Well-Being.”, Applied Psychology, 69(4), 1145–1173,

Abstract: The diverse nature of 21st-century organizations has compelled leaders to minimize discrimination and bring about inclusion amongst their employees. One of the ways this can be achieved is through authentic, respectful, and inclusive leadership. The aim of the present paper was to (1) explore whether the three leadership styles can promote inclusion and curtail discrimination in the South African context and (2) ascertain whether this relationship has any bearing on well-being across Dutch, German, Icelandic, Indonesian, and South African contexts. To reach these aims, two cross-sectional studies have been conducted. In Study 1, 569 employees were surveyed, and results indicated that all three leadership styles loaded on a common latent factor (positive leadership) that was positively associated with both inclusion and discrimination. In Study 2, 1,926 employees were surveyed across the five countries. Results indicated that once again, the latent, positive leadership factor was positively associated with both inclusion and discrimination. Furthermore, inclusion, when compared to discrimination seemed to be a stronger mediator in the relationship between positive leadership and well-being. We propose leadership development that will cultivate positive leadership behaviors for the benefit of employee well-being and collaboration in increasingly diverse teams.

Angela Glover Blackwell, (2017), “The Curb-cut effect”, Stanford Social Innovation Review,

Synopsis: This piece tells the story of the curb-cut effect, i.e., how Michael Pachovas and friends in wheelchairs poured cement into the form of a crude ramp by a curbside to allow people in wheelchairs to move more freely from and to the curbside. That act of political activism led to more changes that improved accessibility as a whole for persons with disabilities to buildings and public means of transportation. It also allowed many more curbside users, e.g., people pushing carts or strollers, wheeling suitcases, or skateboarding, to move more freely. The author of the piece then uses the curb-cut effect story as an image to define equality and equity, and to make the point that making some changes that help include specific groups of people or increase equity across different identity groups can benefit the entire community.

Introduction Video

  • Pilot study evaluating this mentoring program based on the CARES model: Lewis, V. Martina, C. A., McDermott, M. P., Trief, P. M., Goodman, S. R., Morse, G. D.,LaGuardia, J. G., Sharp, D., Ryan, R. M, “A Randomized Controlled Trial of Mentoring Interventions for Underrepresented Minorities”, Academic Medicine 91(7):p 994-1001, July 2016. | DOI: 10.1097/ACM.0000000000001056.
  • Angela Byars-Winston et al., “A randomized controlled trial of an intervention to increase cultural diversity awareness of research mentors of undergraduate students”, Sci. Adv.9, (2023). DOI:10.1126/sciadv.adf9705.
  • Rose, B. S., PhD. 2022, “Inclusive Leaders Create And Sustain A Winning Culture”, Leadership Excellence, vol. 39, no. 6, pp. 10-12.

Discussion Questions

  • How confident do you feel that you are an inclusive mentor? How do you know?
  • How do you and your team value the contributions of each team member?
  • What intentional strategies exist among faculty in this department or program to mentor inclusively?
  • What conversations do you have with your postdocs that foster inclusion?
  • What are your barriers to mentoring inclusively?
  • Is there a strategy that you heard today, either during pre-session or from your colleagues, that you think our program or department should implement?
  • What ways can we assess mentees’ feedback? Do we have existing ways of knowing about their experiences that we could build on?
  • How will we iterate on this work over time?