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Psychological Safety and the SCARF Model

A key focus of the FeminineAgility model is psychological safety in a team and personal. The SCARF model explains the building blocks of psychological safety in groups, especially during the transformation into new territory.

In the modern working world, psychological safety is increasingly becoming a key factor for successful teams and organizations. The SCARF model, developed by David Rock, offers an innovative framework for understanding and addressing the social needs of individuals in the workplace. It is particularly interesting how this model can support the promotion of an inclusive and supportive environment for female professionals. The five dimensions of the SCARF model – Status, Certainty, Autonomy, Relatedness, and Fairness – provide valuable insights into how to create a culture of psychological safety that particularly considers and strengthens the feminine perspective.



Status refers to the relative positioning within a group. In work environments where women have historically been underrepresented or in lower positions, awareness of status differences can help to intentionally create support networks and mentoring programs for women. By recognizing and promoting the contributions of female employees, feelings of appreciation and respect can be strengthened, which in turn promotes psychological safety.



Certainty regarding expected outcomes and clarity of expectations is important for all employees, but especially for women in traditionally male-dominated fields. Transparent communication, clear career paths, and certainty about evaluation criteria can help reduce uncertainties and create an environment where women feel encouraged to express their ideas and take risks.



Autonomy refers to the need for control over one’s work and decision-making. Promoting women’s autonomy through flexible working models, participation in decision-making processes, and the opportunity to lead their own projects can boost confidence and increase loyalty to the company. Autonomy allows women to leverage their strengths and make individual contributions.



Relatedness concerns the sense of belonging and positive relationships with colleagues. A supportive network that promotes diversity and inclusion is crucial for empowering women in the workplace. Creating women’s networks, conducting team-building activities, and fostering a climate of openness and acceptance help women feel supported and valued.



Fairness is fundamental to psychological safety and refers to the equitable treatment of all employees. For women, this means ensuring equal opportunities, combating gender discrimination, and the fair distribution of resources and recognition. Organizations that actively take steps against biases and ensure equality build trust and promote a positive work environment.


Work environments can feel safer

The SCARF model offers a comprehensive approach to designing work environments that not only promote psychological safety but also actively contribute to the support and empowerment of women. By considering the five dimensions of the SCARF model, organizations can create a culture of inclusivity, respect, and equal opportunity that is beneficial for all employees. In such an environment, women can reach their full potential, leading to increased innovation, productivity, and thus adding value.


Feedback Enabled

Agile practices thrive on feedback. If feedback is heard and experienced as criticism, it will quickly dry up. Psychological safety is the prerequisite for constructive feedback.


Personal Growth Enabled

For personal learning to occur, it is necessary to take risks. This requires a framework of psychological safety.