Leading and Engaging Inclusively with Cultural Intelligence – An Above Difference Leadership Programme for Leaders in Nursing and Midwifery in the East of England Region


My name is Jennifer Izekor and I am the CEO and Founder of Above Difference Limited, one of the most innovative and fastest rising Inclusive Leadership and Cultural Intelligence consultancies and Top 10 Inclusion & Diversity Providers in the UK today.

Our approach is unique, we believe Inclusion is about everyone or its about no-one so we work across the whole inclusion agenda. We want to enable leaders to lead all their people well irrespective of where they come from or what specific barriers or challenges they may face. Our approach is built on five key principles:

  • When good leaders lead well they lead all people well
  • All people, irrespective of their backgrounds, deserve to be well led
  • Leaders need to be Culturally Intelligent, Value Driven and Effective Change Leaders/Managers to lead all people well
  • Equipping and Upskilling Leaders to lead all people well, is an organisational challenge and an organisational necessity
  • Developing Oneself as a Culturally Intelligent & Inclusive Leader is a personal growth challenge and a professional growth necessity

We think Inclusion is a leadership challenge and on this programme our aim will be to create psychologically safe spaces in which you can develop a range of evidence-based tools, techniques, skills and capabilities to help you lead all your people well and be at the forefront of providing services that make all people feel valued, seen and heard.

For us it’s never about a single interaction or training session, its about a journey of personal and professional transformation that helps you become a better leader for all, while also building your resilience and professional toolbox. We know your roles are incredibly challenging and our aim is to add value to you, so you can add value to others.

My team and I look forward to walking this journey with you.

Below you will find some details about the programme and your journey as participant. Please do not hesitate to contact us at adprogrammes@abovedifference.com if you have any questions and I really look forward to meeting you.

Dear Colleagues,

My name is Geraldine Rodgers, Director of Nursing Leadership and Quality, supporting Catherine Morgan, the Regional Chief Nurse for NHS England East of England.

Embedded within our priority work we have a strong focus on leadership within the Ethnic Minority plan in line with the Chief Nurse of England agenda. As part of this plan we felt it was important to create an opportunity to bring our leaders together and create a learning opportunity to enhance our regional approach on Cultural Intelligence and Inclusive Leadership.

We have been working closely with the national and regional teams to support international nurses and midwives joining us from across the globe, and have found that this rich diversity of knowledge and perspectives supports our regional NHS community. Many of these nurse and midwives have left families behind to join our diverse workforce in the East of England and we owe it to all our staff to be leaders who are culturally competent and inclusive.

This will also enable us to support our International staff to thrive in their new roles and to achieve their full potential as well as enhancing the sense of belonging for all our nurses and midwives.

Our aim is to equip leaders to be culturally intelligent and able to leverage our considerable diversity to enrich our work in the NHS.

Cultural awareness entails identifying, comprehending and observing the similarities and differences among cultures. If we understand the differences, it will enable us to foster a more inclusive and productive atmosphere where everyone can work together as a cohesive team.  Cultural Intelligence will give us the skills to work and relate effectively across diverse cultures and diverse cultural contexts.

Our approach will be to:

  • Equip systems with skills to develop and enhance culturally intelligent and inclusive leaders across the region
  • Develop leaders’ skills and abilities to lead and engage diverse teams effectively in delivering our vision for Maternity Care across the region
  • Support the retention and development of our international workforce, supporting them to becoming NHS Executives of the future
  • Ensure that our Region is recognised as a welcoming NHS community to work within and a place where diverse individuals from all backgrounds can truly belong

We recognise this will be an important journey for us as leaders to improve how we support our workforce, create safe spaces and build stronger bonds within our region. 

Geraldine Rodgers


Why have you been invited to be part of this programme – What is it about?

The Above Difference ‘Leading Inclusively with Cultural Intelligence’ leadership programme has been described by Wessex Academic Health Science as;

“A valuable and commissionable intervention to support senior health system leaders enhance their cultural awareness. It effected a change in participants’ understanding, a change in their personal approach to leadership, and there were indications this would be sustained into the future.

This unique programme will be offered to leaders and Managers in Nursing and Midwifery Services across the East of England Region.

It will offer participants an opportunity to:

  • Develop their Cultural Intelligence, Inclusive Leadership skills and capabilities thereby enhancing their ability to engage, lead and relate with diverse peers, colleagues, patients and communities
  • Gain a deeper understanding of how their own preferences and biases influence their leadership style and be introduced to a range of proven tools, techniques to help them lead and facilitate inclusive and compassionate workplaces and services
  • Explore principles of a value driven, strength-based approach to Inclusive Leadership while learning how to create positive dialogues around inclusion, manage difficult conversations and create teams and departments where all feel valued, seen and heard

Programme Approach

I’ve done Cultural Awareness Programmes before , what’s different about this one?

This programme is a bespoke one developed by the Award-Winning Above Difference. It draws together 4 Models:

  • Cultural Intelligence(CQ) which is the capability to work and relate effectively across diverse cultural contexts
  • Value Driven/Strengths based Leadership which focuses on values, behaviour and attitudes while building internal resilience
  • Inclusive Leadership
  • Change Leadership

These carefully curated elements are designed to help you achieve your full potential as a leader and an individual.  We will explore issues of leadership, influence , culture and personal effectiveness.  Together you will learn new principles but also have opportunities through the workshops to apply these to specific challenges for inclusion in your workplace.

Programme Approach:

A mixture of : 

Three Half-day Masterclasses
A Cultural Intelligence Assessment and E-learning on Cultural Values
Change Implementation Workshops
Peer Group Learning Sessions

The Journey


At Above Difference we have developed a learner pathway transformational journey that is designed to equip you with new skills and capabilities and then offer you the opportunity to practice ‘flexing your CQ and Inclusive Leadership Skills’ in a safe learning environment. These are our design, dream and apply’ change implementation workshops which will help you become real change makers.  The journey will differ slightly for each programme but at its heart is a tried and tested pathway that is designed to go beyond a ‘training programme’ and create a unique journey that will challenge, change and transform each participant.  

Programme Schedule

Please find below a schedule of our sessions together.


22nd March 2023  1.00 p.m. – 3.00 p.m

Introduce and Define Session ( An opportunity for you to find out all about the programme and how it will add value to your role as a leader)

19th April 2023  09.45 a.m.  – 16.45 p.m.

Leading Inclusively With Cultural Intelligence  Virtual Masterclass  Part One and Two

26th April 2023  09.45 a.m. – 14.00 p.m.

Leading Inclusively  With Cultural Intelligence Virtual Masterclass Part Three

20th June 2023  10.00 a.m. – 13.00 p.m. 

Dream and  Apply Virtual Worship  Session ( A Facilitated workshop to equip you to apply your learning from the Masterclass )

19th July 2023  10.00 a.m. – 13.00 p.m. 

Design and Innovate  Virtual Workshop Session ( A facilitated session where you will be working together on applying your learning to a very specific challenge)  


Your workshops will be facilitated by Jennifer izekor. CEO and Founder of Above Difference Limited and or an Above Difference Advanced Facilitator.  


Programme Resources

Resources to support your journey will be uploaded throughout the programme

Developing Yourself as a Culturally Intelligent and Inclusive Leader
Part 1: Exploring Culture and Cultural Value Dimensions

What’s Your CQ 

Where are your Cultual Connections?


“Incredibly insightful session. It has completely opened my eyes in new ways, I feel far more confident to advocate for others and respectfully challenge inequity both inside and outside of work. My passions have been ignited, I feel stronger and more competent in my role as a result of these sessions”.

Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust

The Above Difference Programme Team

Lead Facilitator

Jennifer Izekor 
Founder and CEO, Above Difference


Andy Bennett QPM 
Senior Associate Facilitator and Partner

Programme Development

Yemisi Ibitoye
Head of Programmes and Facilitator Development

Programme Projects & Contracts

Flora Dele-Ojo
Head of Projects and Contracts

How Do I Register?

Places are limited to 25 so you will need to act fast. You should have received instructions to register with this link.

What Happens Next?

  1. NHS East of England Region will send your details to us, and we will contact you directly. Please note we will need an address we can send your Participant Materials to. This will either be your home address or your office. The pack will be sent by Registered Royal Mail, and you will need to sign for it.

  2. You will get an MS Teams invite to attend the “Introduce and Define” Session as above. There you will learn all about the programme and how you can participate.

We look forward to meeting you. Get Ready To Transform Your Leadership Skills and Lead Inclusive Teams and Services.