Global mobility should ensure that mobility opportunities are available for all employees by developing accessible policies that consider the circumstances of a diverse workforce. Partnering with cross-functional teams, such as diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) is important to create equitable policies. Intentional solicitation of input and guidance from LGBTQIA+ employees (especially those with assignment/ transfer experience), business resource groups, and other expert teams can be a valuable pursuit.
We recommend mobility professionals facilitate proactive, open, and honest discussions with potential LGBTQIA+ expats, their host managers, and vendor partners at the outset of the recruitment and selection stage. Potential risks to the employee and the company should be carefully weighed before making the decision to offer/ accept an assignment. Thankfully, the resources to skill-build around discussing culturally sensitive topics have markedly increased over the last decade and are ubiquitous. Mentorship from business resource groups may also be helpful.
Remaining culturally informed and up to speed on global events is imperative for mobility professionals. Providing formal cultural training and security briefings to prepare employees and spouses/ partners for what to expect in the new location is vital. People managers may also benefit from this opportunity to build their own cultural sensitivity and planning.
Location Risk Assessment
Building a location risk assessment (with subject matter expert input) can be a valuable tool to track and monitor country-specific risks, where countries may sit on a diversity spectrum (from low to high) and practical steps to take in review and preparation for a mobility case. A country-level action plan may vary from ‘go with awareness’ all the way to not permitting inbound mobility full-stop. It can be challenging to balance the business pressures and personal career aspirations with the risks involved but ultimately, safeguarding the employee must prevail.
Diversity drives innovation. An inclusive environment for all in a workforce converts directly into employee engagement, empowerment, and productivity. An organization’s DE&I values and principles permeate throughout rewards programs and policies, including mobility. Working with vendor partners and their supplier networks who embody a mutual, like-minded DE&I commitment is a step toward integration and alignment.