Engineer Inclusion

Inclusive Leadership Development Model

Inclusive leadership is imperative for creating cultures, schools, teams, and organizations that drive equitable outcomes for historically marginalized and minoritized people. The inclusive leadership development model is a four-part, iterative, reflective, and reflexive framework for developing into an inclusive leader.

Engineer Inclusion's Inclusive Leadership Development Model - How to become an inclusive leader

Inclusive Leadership Development Components

light bulb brain

Part 1: Individual 

An inclusive leader understands the social and political context that creates their identity and how it influences and biases their perception of and outlook on the world.

What it does not look like

Planning Prompts


magnifying glass

Part 2: Lens


An inclusive leader considers how systems of oppression and advantage influence their decisions and impact their team.


An inclusive leader investigates how interpersonal and institutionalized bias produce an ethical dilemma that one must address.

What it does not look like

Planning Prompts


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Part 3: Practices

Human-Centered Approach

An inclusive leader works from an asset- or strengths-based mindset, recognizing the value and celebrating the beauty of diversity. They intentionally lead with empathy, curiosity, and open-mindedness to strengthen the dignity of all humans around us.

Accountable Lifelong Learner

An inclusive leader reflects on personal and institutional actions and is committed to learning more about what they do not know, including other ways of knowing and doing. They are personally accountable for mistakes, failures, and mishaps (rather than deflecting, avoiding responsibility, and claiming good intent).

What it does not look like

Planning Prompts


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Part 4: Outcomes


An inclusive leader is attentive to which voices, values, and ways of knowing and doing are present, missing, or silenced. They actively and empathically listen and search for cues to bridge gaps among diverse people.


An inclusive leader actively and equitably engages diverse perspectives, experiences, and backgrounds to enrich the collectively shared environment and balances the assumed norms to allow for more authentic engagement.

What it does not look like

Planning Prompts


Origin of the Inclusive Leadership Development Model

I developed the ILD model as a teaching tool for Engineer Inclusion clients. While the model’s origin is from an engineering leadership context, it is helpful for anyone who aims to develop inclusive leadership practices.

The ILD model aligns three frameworks: 

  1. Katehi, L., Pearson, G., & Feder, M. (2009). The status and nature of K-12 engineering education in the United States. The Bridge, 39(3), 5-10.
  2. Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (2020). Criteria for Accrediting Engineering Programs, 2020 – 2021, General Criteria for Baccalaureate Level Programs, Criterion 3. Student Outcomes. https://www.abet.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/EAC-Criteria-2020-2021.pdf
  3. Bourke, J., & Espedido, A. (2019). Why inclusive leaders are good for organizations, and how to become one. Harvard Business Review Digital Articles, 2-5.

The alignment yields four components:

This conceptual model provides a method for teaching inclusive leadership that aligns with standardized engineering outcomes and makes visible a pervasive hidden curriculum that perpetuates disparities within engineering.

Mock up of Engineering Leadership Book


Inclusive Leadership Development for Engineers


Inclusive Leadership Development for Engineers

Citation: Pollock, M.Holly, J., & Leggett-Robinson, P. (2022). Inclusive leadership development for engineers. In M. R. Kendall & C. Rottmann (Eds.). New Directions for Student Leadership: No. 173. Student leadership development in engineering (pp. 119– 128). Wiley. https://doi.org/10.1002/yd.20483

This chapter presents a standards-aligned, strategy-driven leadership development model for equipping engineering students with skills to appreciate differences in the workplace and to collaborate and lead inclusively. 

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Meagan Pollock, PhD

Dr. Meagan Pollock envisions a world where personal and social circumstances are not obstacles to achieving potential, and where kindness, inclusivity, and conservation prevail.

An international speaker, teacher, engineer, and equity leader, her mission is to provide services, tools, and resources that inspire awareness and initiate action.

As an engineer turned educator, Meagan Pollock is focused on engineering equity into education and the workforce.

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We help people intentionally and systematically engineer equity and inclusion into their organizations: driving positive outcomes and effectively supporting employees and the community.

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