JOINT PRESS RELEASE: ROUNDTABLE ON RACISM IN COACHING – For immediate release – 28 September 2021

1ST PROFESSIONAL BODY ROUNDTABLE ON RACISM IN COACHING HELD ON 15 SEPTEMBER,
HOSTED BY COACHING AT WORK

PROFESSIONAL COACHING BODIES AGREE:
“WE STAND AGAINST RACISM” AND COMMIT TO FURTHER DIALOGUE AROUND COLLABORATION

 This is a joint press release issued by:

  • Association for Professional Executive Coaching and Supervision (APECS)
  • Association for Coaching (AC Global & UK)
  • Association of Coaching Supervisors (AoCS)
  • British Psychology Society Division of Coaching Psychology (BPS DoCP)
  • Coaches and Mentors of South Africa (COMENSA)
  • Coaching at Work magazine
  • European Mentoring and Coaching Council (EMCC UK)
  • International Coaching Federation (ICF Global & UK)
  • International Society for Coaching Psychology (ISCP)

At a landmark event organized and hosted by Coaching at Work on 15 September, representatives from eight professional coaching bodies came together for the first time at a roundtable on the topic of racism in coaching. The representatives pledged their commitment to collectively “stand against racism”, and committed to ongoing dialogue to explore how best to contribute and collaborate including around harvesting learning and sharing best practice.

The statement of intent set out in this press release is shared by the following bodies:

  • Association for Professional Executive Coaching and Supervision (APECS)
  • Association for Coaching (AC Global & UK)
  • Association of Coaching Supervisors (AoCS)
  • British Psychology Society Division of Coaching Psychology (BPS DoCP)
  • Coaches and Mentors of South Africa (COMENSA)
  • European Mentoring and Coaching Council (EMCC UK)
  • International Coaching Federation (ICF Global & UK)
  • International Society for Coaching Psychology (ISCP)

All attending agreed that “we stand against racism” but that this stance needs to be more than mere ‘tokenism.’ There was agreement to continue exploring together, with the date for the next roundtable to be agreed shortly.

Attendees were:

  • Jeannette Marshall (AC Global, and also representing AC UK)
  • Felicia Lauw (AoCS)
  • Barbara St.Claire-Ostwald (APECS)
  • Jonathan Passmore (BPS DoCP)
  • Colleen Qvist (COMENSA)
  • Rachael Hanley-Browne (EMCC UK)
  • Imtiyaz Foolat (UK ICF)
  • Tracy Sinclair (ICF Global)
  • Siobhain O’Riordan (ISCP)
  • Liz Hall (editor of Coaching at Work).

In the hugely rich and nuanced conversation, themes discussed included:

  • The importance of this landmark event, signaling that all those bodies represented collectively ‘stand against racism’ in the coaching profession
  • Unanimous agreement to continue the dialogue:
    – To explore and share best practice
    – Committing to further exploration and work on the issue of racism and lack of equity in coaching
    – Exploring how the professional bodies can contribute in this space and collaborate
  • What needs to be in place in professional body communities to help under-represented have a voice- to be able to express themselves, and to be represented?
  • What more needs to be done so that the coaching community, including the professional bodies, becomes more representative of the societies in which coaches work?
  • Vulnerability is key, and accepting that working to address this issue includes making mistakes, saying sorry, and learning what to do differently
  • For some, the issue may be less about tackling racism than increasing equity (e.g. access to food, to training and education)- context is important
  • Professional bodies will not just sit on the sidelines, they have an active role to play
  • The importance of avoiding mere tokenism, of being practical

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