Our Insights

Enabling leadership through difference in a global World

In conversation with our Director, Dr. Doyin Atewologun

With the current global pandemic, ‘change’ has never felt so constant. Here at Delta Alpha Psi, we continue to respond to change and have adapted to meet our clients’ needs for virtual learning, helping them understand and manage the impact of change and enable futureproofing of their diversity and inclusion (D&I) strategies. Whilst leading this change process for Delta and its clients, our Director, Dr Doyin Atewologun, has also been preparing to undertake an exciting new opportunity. As of June 2020, Doyin will swap her academic hats, leaving as Director of the Gender, Leadership & Inclusion Centre at Cranfield School of Management to start as Dean of Rhodes Scholarships at the University of Oxford!

Last week, our Business Psychologist and Consultant, Dr Fatima Tresh sat down with Doyin (virtually) to ask her some questions about what Delta Alpha Psi means to her, what her new role entails, and what our clients, partners and collaborators can expect from Delta moving forward:

‘Delta Alpha Psi’ is a bit of a mouthful for a niche leadership and inclusion consultancy! Many of our clients and collaborators ask where the name comes from and what it means, please share:

Well, the answer to that question is somewhat multi-layered – and too long to put on a business card!

In Greek and in Mathematics, ‘Delta’ means difference, variation or change. It captures our work as change agents in the context of difference. ‘Alpha’ means first, or acceleration, speaking to our work as Thought Leaders, and our collaboration with business leaders to accelerate change in the context of difference. Third, our work is underpinned by Psychology, ‘Psi’. This is us, Delta Alpha Psi – we work to help leaders accelerate the pace of positive change in the context of difference. Hence our mission of ‘Enabling Leadership through Difference’. The work we do with boards, as advisers for the Parker Review, in our leadership programmes, etc, all speak to that.

The back story to selecting Delta, Alpha, Psi is that I learnt some of the Greek letters quite early. Growing up with a surname like Atewologun, we were always ready to spell it – even in Nigeria it’s an unusual name. So, my siblings and I grew up listening to our parents on the phone, to the bank or whatever, saying “Yes, this is Mr Atewologun, that’s A for Alpha, T for Tango, E for Echo…” Yes – I learnt the phonetic alphabet about the same time I learnt the regular alphabet!

So, very early, my parents taught me how important it is to facilitate connections across the unfamiliar by being proactive. They understood that breaking down what may seem so complicated into very simple letters, helped reduce discomfort, anxiety, and often, then became a point of humour to share with the stranger on the phone. When I got married my initials didn’t change either, so the initials DA have always, and will remain, special letters for me.

That’s a wonderful story! Ok, looking forward now. Whether helping our clients through your work at Delta Alpha Psi or wearing your academic hat to research and educate, your focus on positive change in leadership and the context of difference has remained consistent. You have now been appointed as Dean of Rhodes Scholarships at the University of Oxford, what does this new role entail?

I’m really excited about this new opportunity. Many of us in the Delta team straddle the worlds of academia and practice very deftly, and that’s the value we bring to our clients. I have done this straddling for over 15 years and will continue to maintain my connection with academia, including my long-standing links with Cranfield.

As Dean of the Rhodes Scholarships, I will be responsible for creating an enabling culture and the optimum conditions for diverse leaders to flourish, on a global platform. Today’s Rhodes Scholars are exceptionally talented individuals on track to become leaders in business, science, politics, the arts and technology across the globe, comprising around 300 people from over 60 countries at any one time. As Dean, I have the privilege to play a key role towards shaping their transformation from talented individuals to become a powerful global community of change makers, while working closely with strategic partners within and outside Oxford University and the global Rhodes community.

That a Nigerian-born woman has taken a seat at this table, which has such a problematic and complex history, and is working with diverse others to repurpose and redirect capital and resources to identify and develop leaders to solve the world’s problems, demonstrates what the 21st century Rhodes Scholarships stands for.

That sounds like ‘Enabling Leadership through Difference’ but on a larger scale. So, in this new phase, what can our clients, partners and collaborators expect from Delta moving forward?

Our clients can expect what we have always stood for – working in collaboration with leading businesses, to reach across their organisational ecosystem to embed change and inclusion underpinned by Thought Leadership and evidence-based insights. Our team is diverse, agile, talented and highly skilled. Moving forward, we will continue to provide ground-breaking insights to make our clients’ inclusion strategy stick in a fast-paced, dynamic virtual working world. We have a strong team and a business model that means we continue to exceed our clients’ expectations in our operations. I look forward to continuing to oversee the impact our programmes are making to retain and progress diverse talent, embed inclusion and reap the dividends of diversity across UK, Europe, and beyond.

Good luck to Doyin in this new and exciting role!


If you want to find out more about working with us, contact Business Psychologist & Consultant, Dr Fatima Tresh: fatimat@deltaalphapsi.com

For more background information on Doyin’s path to Business Psychology, click here.

Look up our Open Mind Series, where we provide thought leadership insights and evidence-based webinars on the key business challenges in diversity and inclusion today. See our recent article: Why Target Your Leadership Programmes?

Our team of inclusion experts is ready to support you to accelerate your D&I and talent management strategy. Delta provides evidence-based, bespoke solutions for diversity and inclusion business needs. We offer research and business insights, inclusive culture ‘building blocks’ through virtual and in-person workshops for workplace groups across the business, ecosystem programmes to embed change for meeting strategic D&I objectives, and culturally intelligent executive coaching. Let us help you keep your people development and D&I strategies on track with our digital and live virtual learning solutions.