Dr. Stephen WhiteHead

Internationally recognised expert on gender identity, men and masculinities, and international education. Creator of Total Inclusivity concept. Author of 16 books. Co-founder and Director of Whitehead, Lee & Associates (education consultants). Co-founder and Lead Writer for Educational Digest International. Total Inclusivity Advisor for organisations, schools and universities.

Prologue

Writing

Stephen’s books and writing span over 25 years and range from the essential sociological text on ‘Men and Masculinities’ (2002) to the mainstream global best-selling ‘Many Faces of Men’ (2004) – translated into 15 languages. His most recent works are three books on Total Inclusivity, all published by Routledge in 2022; a highly acclaimed co-authored book on ‘International Schooling’ (2020); and the definitive examination of ‘Toxic Masculinity’ (2021). Stephen is co-founder and lead writer for the Educational Digest International, where his fortnightly articles on international schooling and education are read by educators around the world. 

Consultancy

Stephen is Co-Founder and Director of the international education consultancy company, Whitehead, Lee & Associates.

WLA specialises in providing business-education solutions for international and private schools. In addition, Stephen is part of a team of specialist international educationalists providing Total Inclusivity training and guidance (ant-racism, LGBT+ awareness; identity safeguarding) to international and independent schools in Europe and Asia.

LATEST BOOKS

Published November, 2022

Creating a Totally Inclusive University

This book introduces the concept and practices of Total Inclusivity to universities around the world. It is written to help universities contend with increasing public scrutiny and uncertainty around issues of diversity, equity, inclusion and justice now at the forefront of global higher education. Providing a guide and template to higher education leaders, the book addresses such issues as work culture, free speech, student wellbeing, racism, LGBT+ identities, managerialism or ‘simply’ the ability of the institution to survive post-Covid. Whitehead and O’Connor argue that handling these issues can best be done in a university climate and system which is Totally Inclusive. This is the standard for any higher education institution to aim for, not only in its teaching but in its fundamental principles and everyday practices if it is to meet its obligations to its members and to wider society. The book aims to support universities as well as challenge the status quo as they grapple with the different global and societal pressures confronting them. It is an essential read for anyone working in leadership in higher education institutions and those interested in creating inclusive practices within their institution.
Prof Deborah EyreExecutive Chair at High Performance Learning, UK
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Stephen and Pat’s book is an absolute pleasure to read. It is just so timely to be looking at the real meaning of total inclusivity in all its dimensions, especially higher education. For too long we have known of and spoken of discrimination but have not been bold enough or organised enough to fully address it. This book will stimulate conversations – even uncomfortable conversations and that is what is needed.
Steve CropperEmeritus Professor of Management, Keele University, UK
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This book is for anyone engaged with the question of what the University is for and asking how such institutions can achieve survival with integrity. Integrity, through the lens of Total Inclusion, refers to principled, respectful inclusion of all individuals pursuing their aspirations through Higher Education – and the avoidance of harm through systematic bias and prejudice - explicit or implicit. Such a responsibility attaches particularly to Universities, distinctive and powerful institutions in society that Whitehead and O’Connor argue should be exemplars of inclusive values and practice. Whitehead and O’Connor start from basics; evidence and theory interwoven. The evidence is drawn with a global sweep, and the authors’ comparative approach will broaden awareness. Throughout the book, they make their case with care, through a ’critical’ lens that exposes the systematic injustices that result from many received practices. The analysis is neither sweeping, nor simplistic. Both authors have walked their talk. Both were what would now be termed ‘non-traditional’ entrants to HE; both have had long careers in Universities; and both are critical scholars with keen eyes for how structural and cultural injustices play out, and how they can be challenged. The book offers a credo; humanist, inclusive, and, in asking how to resolve rather than polarise issues of freedom and justice, appealing to our widest, collective interest. Each chapter has a sharp summary and conclusion, but it’s in the detail of the argument that the compelling value of the book is to be found. There’s a lot to think about and a lot to do as the last two chapters reveal: Whitehead and O’Connor provide a powerful framework, and some useful practical moves to start the process of total inclusion.
Dr Minh NguyenDirector of Education Services, Vinschool Education System, Vietnam
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Whitehead and O’Connor have written a must-read primer for anyone concerned with the future of higher education. It is book for students, leaders, lecturers, all who care to establish a university culture where individuals can bring their whole self to work and thrive in an environment in which people of all backgrounds are empowered and can contribute authentically and genuinely. The concept of Total Inclusivity is timely and powerful during this unprecedented time. Achieving diversity and equity in the workplace is a journey that never ends, but the most important thing is to start. The book is not only informed by contemporary research but also heavily embedded in organizational practices. Read this book - and learn both theoretical and practical knowledge to help you contribute to achieving Total Inclusivity in global higher education.
Alex Batten Head of Operations, Harrow Appi International School, Japan
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Ever the voice of progressive clarity, Stephen Whitehead (with Pat O’Connor) explores the transient nature of identity in our world. No punches are pulled as the old, romantic notion of leadership is dispersed through a concise breakdown. "Creating a Totally Inclusive University" offers a clear path forward with a strong foundation of both research and morality, focusing on the implementation of true practice over lip service. Any stakeholders in the modern university system would do well to read and keep this one close at hand.
Dr Denry MachinMD Pedagogue and International School Consultant
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This is an important book, coming at an important time. Universities face critical scrutiny, not least of all from increasingly informed – and increasingly demanding – students and staff. Nothing short of 'total inclusivity' is enough. Relevant to managers and leaders in institutions of all shapes, sizes, and forms, ‘Creating a Totally Inclusive University’ balances theory and actionable insight with powerful stories of lived experience (both where things went right and where things went wrong). Stephen and Pat add their authoritative and informed voices to the rising chorus demanding fully inclusive Universities.
Nicholas McKieAssistant Professor, University of Warwick, UK
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This important book is emblematic of conversations happening across the education sector as a whole. In my work at a Russell Group UK university, I know first hand the importance placed on valuing, protecting, and nurturing diverse identities. This insightful book marries theory with practice, supporting universities with their current reflections and policy making in this area.
Dr Chokchai Suttawet Thailand National Research Office and development activist
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This inspiring book confirms that universities must transform themselves in this new global era. Universities can no longer be exclusive; they must meet the changing needs of a global society. Universities have been based too much on specialization and elitism, with little concern for inclusivity and collaboration. Every aspect of this book and all the practical guidance given by the authors, leads us to co-rebuild a smarter total inclusive university.
Dr Rob PowerFounder, www.powerfulhistories.com
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As ever more intense scrutiny is placed on the capacity of Higher Education Institutions to create inclusive spaces, the authors offer accessible, non-judgemental pathways for HE communities to reframe approaches to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice. The book not only gives cause for a critical reassessment of HEI cultures (and the dominant hierarchies of value entrenched within it) but demonstrates how Totally Inclusive activism can impact positively on our lives - in education, and beyond. Aside from being a truly welcome addition to a flourishing literature on this subject, the book is notable for offering a framework for the creation of safe, intellectually stimulating, communities in which every individual belongs.

Published November, 2022

Becoming a Totally Inclusive School:

A Guide for Teachers and School Leaders

Educators are at a crossroads and the global call for institutions to address their inequitable structures is ringing loudly. For teachers and school leaders who are hearing that call, this book offers knowledge and guidance for becoming a Totally Inclusive school. Each chapter delves into key ideas that are fundamental to addressing the complex challenge of achieving Total Inclusivity – one which encompasses and values racial diversity, gender equality, LGBTQ+ inclusivity, neurodiversity and more. Across the three sections, the authors introduce key terms and concepts important to inclusivity, focused on mindsets, behaviours and systems and structures. Explore how interactions contribute to or impede progress, and engage with tools, stories and reflection points to translate knowledge into practice. Written in an accessible style with reflective exercises in every chapter, the book will guide educational professionals along the pathway to becoming advocates for inclusivity in their schools and communities.
Jane LarssonExecutive Director, Council of International Schools (CIS)
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Imagine the possibilities when international education becomes truly inclusive. The ability to make connections with people from every corner of the world, embracing new cultures, perspectives, and ideas, is now a fundamental part of life. The authors of 'Becoming a Totally Inclusive School' have turned their personal experiences and views into a source of inspiration for people who strive to make international education more accessible and more effective for all.
Liz FreeDirector, International School Rheintal, Switzerland
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Real-life, accessible, challengingly upfront and honest, 'Becoming a Totally Inclusive School' is essential reading for all educators. In these times where awareness of diversity, equity and inclusion are front and centre for us all, we need resources that support us in facing sometimes uncomfortable truths; where we look at ourselves and our communities and ask, 'is everyone totally included in our school, is our school totally inclusive?' Angeline, Sadie and Stephen have created a book that covers key theoretical models and approaches, alongside practical case studies in action that can be used and implemented in schools throughout the world.
Elizabeth PalathraPrimary Teacher, Switzerland
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A clear and accessible framework for reflection and action for social justice. 'Becoming a Totally Inclusive School,' is a must read for any educator or school leader who is ready and willing to lean into the deep work of cultivating a learning community that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive.

July 4, 2022

Total Inclusivity at Work

Despite inclusivity’s importance and most people’s desire for it, understanding inclusivity can be tricky. This book introduces the concept of Total Inclusivity to organisations, their leaders and employees around the world. It aims to help organisations and those people who create them, to become Totally Inclusive communities, wherein diversity is valued, healthy identities enabled, respect for difference prevails, and every member counts – regardless of their identity mix. The book provides insights into how identity works and defines Total Inclusivity as concept and practice. Whitehead suggests what organisations can do to safeguard and nurture diverse organisational identities. The book also provides easy to follow guidelines on how we can implement Total Inclusivity in organisation through individuals. Written in an accessible style, while informed by contemporary research into the self, organisations and identities, this book will not only guide organisational members – owners, CEOs, leaders, managers, administrators and every staff member – along the pathway to creating a Totally Inclusive community, it will establish a ground-breaking and unassailable ethical standard for all organisations to follow as they venture further into this century.
Amazon user
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Stephen Whitehead has imaginatively constructed a vision for a creative future; one that is ‘purposeful, reflective, informed and relentless’. Total Inclusivity speaks to us not only about the principles and practices of DEIJ but of the poetics of living with ourselves, with each other and our environment.
Amazon user
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Balancing theory with a strong bias for practical and actionable insight, this book adds an authoritative and informed voice to the rising chorus demanding diverse workplaces. It is both timely and prescient; predicting a shift in what it will take for organisations to survive and thrive. Nothing short of 'total inclusivity' will be enough. Relevant to managers and leaders in organisations of all shapes, sizes, and forms, 'Total Inclusivity at Work' is a powerful and important concept and this is a powerful and important book.
Amazon user
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This book is bold in its statement of truths, and truly transformative in presenting the challenges we all face in creating inclusive cultures in an engaging, compassionate, manner. To suggest that this book is integral to understanding what it means to be ‘totally inclusive’ is an understatement. It is essential reading – not just for advocates of diversity, equity, inclusion and justice – but for each and every member of the communities in which we live and work.
Amazon user
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Profound, punchy, bold, and softened with touches of humour, this book introduces Total Inclusivity, a concept and practice whose time has come. ‘Woke’ or not, read it!
Total Inclusivity at Work cover
International Schooling book

November 1, 2020

International Schooling

The Teacher's Guide: A Companion To Your International Adventure

Practical and easy-to-access, this comprehensive guide provides insight into one of the biggest, and most exciting, career transitions and life adventures many teachers ever make
Amazon user
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Well-researched and academically robust, this book provides an overview of the exciting world of international education and sound advice for the newbie and the experienced. Stephen and Denry have not only drawn on their own research and experience but also completed a “sense check” through their extensive and experienced contacts in the world of international schools. I will be recommending this book to all those applying internationally to my school.”
Amazon user
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I found the advice super helpful in helping to plan my escape!
Amazon user
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For anyone thinking or planning to work in an international school this is a must have book.
Amazon user
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Great advice, very thorough.
Amazon user
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What a great book for teachers! Actually, it’s a great book for anyone thinking of moving abroad for work.
Amazon user
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Provides all kinds of information from school selection to masters degrees in a VERY readable format. I recommend this!”
Amazon user
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If you are a leader of an international school, buy multiple copies of this book and give them to your new staff.

November 26, 2019

Toxic Masculinity:

Curing the Virus: making men smarter, healthier, safer

Despite inclusivity’s importance and most people’s desire for it, understanding inclusivity can be tricky. This book introduces the concept of Total Inclusivity to organisations, their leaders and employees around the world. It aims to help organisations and those people who create them, to become Totally Inclusive communities, wherein diversity is valued, healthy identities enabled, respect for difference prevails, and every member counts – regardless of their identity mix. The book provides insights into how identity works and defines Total Inclusivity as concept and practice. Whitehead suggests what organisations can do to safeguard and nurture diverse organisational identities. The book also provides easy to follow guidelines on how we can implement Total Inclusivity in organisation through individuals. Written in an accessible style, while informed by contemporary research into the self, organisations and identities, this book will not only guide organisational members – owners, CEOs, leaders, managers, administrators and every staff member – along the pathway to creating a Totally Inclusive community, it will establish a ground-breaking and unassailable ethical standard for all organisations to follow as they venture further into this century.
Amazon user
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In this world of mass shootings, violence against women, young men trying to live up to ‘traditional masculinity’, ‘incels’, it’s becoming harder for men to adjust to life. Suicide in young men is on the rise, anger and aggression are booming. Where will it all end? This book explains how it is and how men can and will have to change from the toxic route some are taking. Empathy and compassion for oneself is a big start on the route to salvation from this ever increasing problem.
Amazon user
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A well-researched, fascinating, thoroughly good book
Amazon user
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An Important book, coming at an important time
Amazon user
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Insightful, inspiring and BOLD!
Amazon user
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I loved this book. It called me out, it reassured me, and it rekindled my curiosity.
Amazon user
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This book could not be more timely or relevant
Amazon user
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Stephen’s desire for a more deeply connected experience feels personal, validating and healing.
Toxic Masculinity