DE&I and Global Mobility

Delivering local excellence at a global level.

Diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) have been the key focus of Human Resource (HR) teams across all business types for many years now. Ensuring equality of opportunity for all, regardless of the gender, race or ethnicity is more than just the right thing to do. Studies have shown greater diversity at every level of a business leads to better innovation and productivity.

This appears to be a battle which is being won, even though it is far from over. You can now see DE&I best practices having real impact on organisations at a local level.

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'The Global Mobility teams within your business, and any third parties who you work with, will have invaluable insight and experience.'

Whilst there is little data on mobility by race or ethnicity, we can say that only around 20% of expatriates are women. This may stem from the expectation that women are the primary care givers within a family, but it highlights that businesses may not be doing enough to enable women to take advantage of opportunities, irrespective of their domestic situation.

It is unsurprising then that a Deloitte survey found that only 10% of global mobility teams are active in DE&I discussions. Or that only 15% actively track DE&I data for global mobility. But with international experience having clear benefits for leadership skills, an opportunity for more diverse leaders is being missed.

So, what can you do to bring the global picture in-line with the local one? How do you ensure consistent experience and standards throughout your business? And why does it matter?

Benefits of DE&I.

From cultural to neurodiversity, a varied team with different characteristics, identities and experiences can be a big business win.  Not only does it allow you to access a larger talent pool, leveraging the expertise of a diverse workforce can increase innovation by up to 20% according to the World Economic Forum.

Another important reason to incorporate DE&I initiatives is that they align with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, as well as support your Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) programme. It’s all connected…

We all want to be an attractive employer, and DE&I is a great way to improve your reputation.

Get some figures.

So, where to begin? The first place to start is to actively track DE&I information through your global mobility programme. This provides a clear starting point and give you a deeper understanding of how your company is performing.

This can often be one of the most daunting steps to take. But it does present an opportunity to start a dialogue with your internal teams to get them onboard at an early point.

Focus on outcomes, not actions.

All too often DE&I has been reduced to a series of checkboxes which, when complete, means that the job’s done. Right?

Well, that’s often not the case in the places it matters. With the people on the ground.

Once you have data of where your business is, the next step should be where you need to go. What SHOULD your global mobility proposition deliver? Which groups within your business are underrepresented within the expatriate cohort?

Asking questions like this will start to give you an appreciation of who is currently being left behind by your programmes and therefore who needs your help the most.

With that established, it’s time to engage with those groups within your business. You need to understand what blocks, real of perceived, are stopping them from taking these global positions and how you can help.

Build it in.

With what you plan to do and who for established, it’s time to break that down into steps, and integrate that within your business.

This will require that you work to deeply connect both your global mobility and DE&I processes from a top-level down. Establishing then refining policy frameworks and procedures which will ensure the successful delivery of desired outcomes.

You will need to ensure that this isn’t done solely as an HR directive. The Global Mobility teams within your business, and any third parties who you work with, will have invaluable insight and experience. By developing this aspect of your DE&I strategy in this way, you give it the greatest probability of long-term success by listening to those doing the job at a local level.

DE&I Training & Integration.

This isn’t as simple as getting your global mobility team on a course. They should be having those already.

We’re talking here about the teams where expatriates will be arriving. DE&I is not a global standard, it is a highly localised concept with members of the same country in different countries having wildly different expectations. Without care and thought going into this aspect of a relocation, problems can easily be built in.

So, ensuring a global level of best practice and training all members of your team to that standard is the first step. It is also wise to develop a programme to help new arrivals settle and integrate both with their new colleagues and new home. This can include assigning a local “buddy” within the office for each expat, arranging social events, and giving localisation, as well as language training.

Communication.

With all of this in place, you need to let your team know. Be clear where global mobility schemes have been unsuccessful previously and what you are looking to achieve now. Then ensure that you clearly let the target groups know that these opportunities are for them.

A good communications drive should be about letting members of your team know what they can be doing and how they can do it. Crucially, you should also address the common concerns and issues which under-represented groups raised to you previously. Acknowledge that these have been issues, then explain how they’ve been fixed.

Finally, book in a timeline for where and when feedback will be sought on the success of this new DE&I initiative. Make space and time to review how this is doing and then to refine what you’re doing even further.

For too long DE&I has been disconnected with global mobility programmes. In leaving it out, many will have missed out on invaluable life and professional experience. But, with care and by listening to those affected, we can ensure that this is no longer the case.

If you would like support in improving your global mobility programmes, especially with the relocation and integration of expatriate staff, then ABRA members can help.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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