Despite organizational diversity often being seen as an important prerequisite for creativity and innovation within an organization, there is still work to do on the diversity and inclusion (D&I) front. While women make up approximately 40% of the global workforce, only an estimated 15 - 25% of international assignees are women, according to the RES Forum.
Recently, Relocate Global organized an event looking further into the situation. "Starting the International Women's Day (IWD) celebration, the magazine's managing editor Fiona Murchie welcomed the 50 guests to the roundtable session and lunch at the Institute of Directors’ (IoD) London office with a personal message. Being able to bring together so many people passionate helping young people and women be all they can be “is one of the happiest and most important days of my life,” said Fiona." Read more on that event here.
So, hot on the heals of International Women's Day 2019 on Friday, March 8th, are you not wondering how your global mobility program could better support the cause? Here is a list of five ideas for you to consider how a move could support the movement forward:
- First, consider how your mobility team could help create awareness of the day itself and participate in the campaign within your company and community. This year's theme was #BalanceforBetter and if this year's day snuck up on you, try setting a calendar item for next January for your mobility team to look at supporting the campaign and help to build a more gender-balanced world.
- Next, if you have not yet added in true diversity reporting into your mobility program, think about doing this. Consider how to better track and report on the percentages of women candidates that get looked at, that actually get approved for assignments and transfers, and then make that information/reporting available to stakeholders and internal clients within the organization, particularly executive management, talent management, recruiters and hiring managers.
- Consider inserting a "justification" question or set of questions into your process that challenges hiring managers at the time of authorization to consider who and why they are sending a specific individual. Request justification for why their selected individual is most qualified for the relocation or assignment. Challenge whether they have considered a diverse group of people for this assignment.
- Leverage Design Thinking to find a solution. Evaluate and frame the problem properly for your specific program with quantitative and qualitative data from within your organization. Gather a group of diverse individuals from across the organization, then seek to design a solution that will support better balance. With these insights, consider whether any unique policy adjustments or process changes should be implemented to better support mobile female employees. Pay particular attention to examples where women have opted out of the international assignment pool.
- Meet with your D&I team to consider their objectives and how the two groups could better collaborate. Per KPMG's "Inclusion and diversity - How global mobility can help move the needle, "By aligning with your company’s talent strategy and inclusion and diversity goals, global mobility teams can move beyond their operational role to become a strategic partner, helping to broaden the talent pool taking part in international assignment programs and adding business value."
Empowering women isn’t just the right thing to do—it’s the smart thing to do. "When women succeed, nations are safer, more secure, and more prosperous. Change doesn't happen overnight. If an organization is lagging in terms of opportunities for women and women's leadership roles, start by seeing where you are—which often means surveying all employees to gauge attitudes, feelings, and behaviors that concern gender disparity and other issues related to workplace discrimination and feeling safe and secure in their working environments