Leading for Diversity

Photos courtesy of Sharon Lawler-Sudell, ISS

Download this important power point presentation from the Diversity Collaborative which was presented at this February's 2020 AAIE CONVERSATION in NYC.



Download Richard Gaskell's (ISC Research) HEADTalk presentation from the NYC 2020 AAIE CONVERSATION.


2019 Diversity Collaborative Survey Results

Survey results from the inaugural Diversity Collaborative Survey (DCS) have been released, creating one of the first baselines of information on international school leadership and diversity.

The research study was initiated in spring 2019 by the Diversity Collaborative, which partnered with ISC Research and the Center for International Education at George Mason University to design and administer the survey and analyze the responses. The survey was sent to 2,676 accredited international schools around the world.

Learn more


Toward Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: One School's Journey

By Shelley Paul, Jacinta Williams and Kevin Glass

Striving to provide an equitable, culturally global environment for its school community, one school realizes what it holds as true may not be aligned with the larger community.

Continue Reading this Spring 2019 InterEd feature story (Page 12).


Moving Beyond Conversation to Meaningful Action: Fostering Diversity, Inclusion and Equity in International School Leadership

Jennifer Beckwith - American United School of Kuwait

Most boards and schools leaders say that they value diversity, but what does it look like for a school leadership team to be not just diverse, but also inclusive and equitable. According to Michael Magee," Diversifying education leadership and retaining those leaders will not happen on the wings of our good intentions." What are a few steps we can all take to create more equity in international school leadership?

About Jennifer: Jennifer Beckwith is the Founding Director of the American United School of Kuwait. She has a wealth of experience in international education, supervising 18 schools in Italy, 26 in Turkey, Bahrain, Spain and Portugal, and numerous principal positions throughout her career.

First page of the PDF file: AAIEDiversityColHeadTalkFeb2019moving
First page of the PDF file: beckwith2

The Diversity Collaborative recognizes the value of diverse perspectives and the importance of including members of groups that have previously been underrepresented in international school leadership. The Collaborative will go beyond compliance and tolerance, to championing inclusion, and respecting and celebrating diversity.

Little data exists on the diversity of international school leaders, but US data from the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) suggests that while women and educators of color are increasingly assuming a variety of leadership roles in schools, still only about a third of US private school heads are female and only seven percent are educators of color. In a presentation on the leadership pipeline, Liz Duffy, ISS President, stressed that, "It’s important that the leadership of international schools reflects the increasing diversity of students and families in those schools, especially since many studies have shown that diverse teams make better decisions and such teams provide effective role models for all students."

The Diversity Collaborative is committed to creating a more diverse, inclusive, equitable and just environment among the leadership of the international school community. This collaborative hopes to utilize the talents of leaders in education to create lasting changes in the way we engage, support and promote educators who encompass a broad range of identities.

Diversity in leadership is an educational and moral imperative because it improves education through role modeling, inclusive decision making and equitable access and opportunity. Embracing diversity in leadership helps to improve our schools and the world.

With diversity comes:

  • More Learning
  • More Innovation
  • Broader Opportunity
  • Broader Access to Talent
  • Better Decisions
  • Better Performance

Attracting, sustaining and supporting talented leaders in our schools who reflect the diversity of our students, faculty and society benefits us all. Through leadership diversity, inclusion and excellence, international schools thrive and strengthen as learning communities.

We welcome all school community members to join in the effort to ensure we have a broad spectrum of people in leadership positions across our international schools. All who are ready to champion this stance are welcome.

Currently the Diversity Collaborative has assembled and identified five strategic focus areas:

  • Pipeline Development
  • Conference and Trainings
  • Mentoring and Sponsorship
  • Data Gathering
  • Best practices



Video: Stories that Move: The Power of Voice

Karen Polak and Michael McGlade - Stories that Move

The Stories that Move's blended learning program was developed with partners in seven countries and is available online in seven languages. Stories that Move provides a ready-made approach to address key present and future challenges schools face. The five learning paths offer a choice of lessons dealing with identity and diversity, discrimination in everyday situations, learning from the past, bias in the media and taking-action. At the core of the program are the voices of young people sharing their experiences and ideas about discrimination. Part of the story is how the program is being used by early adopters and the enthusiasm of the young people who demonstrate the student agency that Stories that Move has inspired. 

About Karen: Karen Polak is the Coordinator for the International Project Team at Stories that Move. She is also an historian and pedagogue at the Anne Frank House in the Netherlands.

About Michael: In addition to being a Technical Design Consultant for Stories that Move, Michael McGlade is the Director of Education Technology at the International School of Amsterdam.