Workshop with Femi Otitoju of Challenge Consultancy 20 Sept, 2009


  • Changes in the law, changes for OWCH

              Do our aims need to change?

  • Creating inclusive cultures

              Attracting and welcoming new women to the group

  • Effective reviews

              Challenging lack of involvement
              Dealing with inappropriate behaviour

Legal changes since 2002

  • Sexual orientation and religion and belief
  • Transgender
  • Age
  • Public Duties

Keeping up with the law

  • Update your policy to include new laws
  • Get a clear policy on transgender
  • Consider monitoring on other areas
  • Translate your policy into practice with a “Diversity Strategy”

Creating Inclusive Cultures

  • Attracting women to the group


  • Making the group welcoming to women of different backgrounds


  • Think about how you heard about the group
  • How did you feel just before the first meeting?
  • What did you like about the meeting at first?
  • What did you dislike at first?
  • What helped you to settle in and get effective in the group?
  • What changes are needed to help other women feel comfortable within the group?

Effective Reviews

  • Translate broad commitment areas into actual behaviours by giving examples
  • Perhaps have a form with scales on for women to consider completing before review meetings
  • Have women’s reviews submitted to the next meeting for ratification

Aims and Values

    1. Acceptance and respect for diversity
    2. Care and support for each other
    3. Providing a balance between privacy and community.
    4. Countering ageist stereotypes
    5. Co-operating and sharing responsibility
    6. Maintaining a structure without hierarchy
    7. Caring for the environment
    8. Being part of the wider community

Aims and Values: From Policy to Practice

  • For each of the Aims and Values let’s create positive and negative indicators
  • These indicators should make it easier for women to assess their own behaviour and that of other women against OWCH Aims and Values.

Challenging at review: Selma

  • Selma, constantly misses meetings, she has not managed to attend three consecutive meetings in the last twelve months.
  • At her annual review Selma starts the meeting saying

     “Of course I recommit to all the values – after all I helped write      them. There’s no need to go through them all—I’ll just sign the form.”

Challenging at review: Dagmar
Dagmar is an active and vocal member of the group. It can be difficult to disagree with her in meetings as she speaks quite loudly, is very direct and often makes quite cutting remarks when women challenge her. At her review Dagmar says: “I believe I am and honest to every woman in the group, don’t you agree?”

Challenging at review
·      What other kinds of behaviours go unchallenged at review that should be challenged?
·      What is needed to help women address difficult issues at review?
Action Planning

  • What action is needed arising from our discussions today?
  • Who should do what?
  • When should it be done?

Final Questions or Comments?

Femi Otitoju
Challenge Consultancy.Co.Uk
020 7272 3400