Psychological Safety #3: Women’s Safety and Allyship

Training, Workshops, Exercises and Tools

Psychological Safety #3: Women’s Safety and Allyship

building and maintaining psychological safety for your team

In this edition, two pieces focussing on women stand at the top; not only was it International Women’s Day on Monday, but the issue of women’s safety has been highlighted in the UK by the tragic murder of Sarah Everard.

Whilst not specifically about psychological safety, this is a great article by Kat Nicholls about what allies can do to help women feel safer:
Women are doing enough: Here’s what allies can do to help us feel safe“:

And you may have heard of this “incident” where a very well-meaning Burger King publicity campaign backfired. I include this article here because it’s worth wondering if there was enough psychological safety in the discussions prior to this going live, where someone may have raised a concern.


A great piece with U.S. Bank’s Chief Ethics Officer, Katie Lawler, speaking about psychological safety, and in particular, how it facilitates making better decisions:

Healthcare and Medicine

An excellent article in the NEJM: Cursed by Knowledge — Building a Culture of Psychological Safety
Lisa Rosenbaum, M.D.
(My apologies if you cannot access this journal. An alternative is to contact the author directly through ResearchGate:

This is a superb piece in the Annals of Internal Medicine: a set of graphical depictions of behaviours that impact psychological safety in healthcare teams:


The importance of Psychological Safety to the Scrum Master role.

The Supermanagers podcast – in this episode: Simon Stanlake, SVP of Engineering at Procurify, describing the power of the retrospective in building psychological safety.

Related to retrospectives, here’s PagerDuty’s awesome guide to Blameless post-mortems, which includes a thorough background to safety culture, cognitive biases, and “human error”.

And further still, because retrospectives and post-mortems are so crucial in building psychological safety, here’s a great interview by Mandi Walls with John Allspaw about the practice of dealing with technical incidents (spoiler: psychological safety is crucial)

On Thursday 25th March, I’ll be speaking about psychological safety in technology teams at this live panel facilitated by Godel, and joined by Andy Norton and Tristan McCarthy of Footasylum:

Systems Thinking:

An excellent article by Diana McLain Smith about the power of the “relational perspective“: the assumptions that different people will see different things, and that solid common ground can only be found after exploring basic differences:

Out of sheer interest:

Take a look at the trend for “psychological safety” search terms in google since 2013:

As always, a poem:
Still I Rise, by the indomitable Maya Angelou

As always, check out, for more resources and articles. Read previous newsletters here.

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