The reality is that the majority of organizations are making diversity, equity & inclusion (DE&I) a priority and are focusing on putting extra effort toward DE&I initiatives. Lattice’s recently released State of People Strategy Report 2020 shares the survey results of 570 HR and people professionals from across many different industries around the world. Of the organizations surveyed:
- 25% are working to go beyond the DE&I basics
- 21% are radically expanding their DE&I efforts
- 16% are starting a DE&I program from scratch
While that is encouraging news, how does global mobility contribute to these efforts? If you are struggling to understand how your global mobility program might get started in supporting DE&I initiatives, then let us help you a little. Below are a few suggestions on how to get started. We also recommend checking out the latest from our center of innovation, Plus One, on DE&I and mobility: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: Improve the Impact of Your Mobility Program
- Start with gaining a deeper understanding of the topic. Make sure you can define what diversity, equity and inclusion are and read articles on the importance of DE&I. For example, try one of these: Beyond the DE&I Acronym: What are Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion? or The True Value of Bringing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Into Your Workplace
- Even the best intentions can be offset by "unconscious bias." Explore where you are at by testing yourself for hidden biases. Hidden bias tests measure unconscious, or automatic, biases. Your willingness to examine your own possible biases is an important step in understanding the roots of stereotypes and prejudice in our society. Encourage others on your team to explore their blind spots too!
- Look at your own team. How diverse is it and, if it's not diverse, ask yourself why. Are you recruiting from a diverse talent pool? Do you have a culture that allows for diverse talent to flourish? Then build an inclusive environment. Work to create an atmosphere where multiple voices are heard, and their opinions are valued and considered.
- Become aware of what is going on within your own company. Reach out to those in your organization who are responsible for driving DE&I initiatives and schedule a meeting to review the current initiatives within your company.
- Don't be bashful and take the next step. Ask how your global mobility function can support and participate in those company initiatives.
- Consider and evaluate all of the elements within your mobility program. Look at the variety of policies. Is there a policy missing for a certain category of person or employee? Apply a lens from a wide variety of perspectives (race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religious affiliations, age/generations, disability, personality, neurodiversity, etc.) to reconsider the language of each policy. Is it inclusive? Tap into this free app to check for gender-coded words like “aggressive” or “dominant” that may dissuade or offend women. Evaluate your own postings, job adverts, policy language, benefit descriptions, relocation offers and assignment letters.
- Consider what others have been doing and seek ideas that might work for your program. Try: 50+ Ideas for Cultivating Diversity and Inclusion at Your Company Reach out to other corporate mobility contacts to do some informal benchmarking on what they are doing to support DE&I initiatives within their companies.
Currently, we see so many mobility programs that lack involvement and have little engagement with DE&I initiatives. The challenges relate to:
- A lack of training, alignment and integration with DE&I.
- No involvement in selection or assessment of candidates or development of candidate pools. This is happening at the business unit and not in consultation with global mobility.
- A serious lack of data and metrics.
Hopefully, some of the above gives you an idea of how to take that next step towards supporting DE&I goals within your company and through your global mobility function. While you're at it, be sure to take our survey on the role of mobility within DE&I.
2020 has been a most challenging year, but let's take a step forward in supporting DE&I and let that be at least one more good thing that happened in 2020!
"Most organizations don't know where to begin when it comes to launching a DE&I program," said Setche Kwamu-Nana, a San Diego-based DE&I consultant and trainer who helps organizations move beyond DE&I rhetoric to lasting transformation. That's understandable because it's such a huge topic with many complexities. "It's always best to start with a shared understanding of what diversity, equity and inclusion mean; what the benefits are; and why it's important to you, your company and society," Kwamu-Nana said. Here's an analogy: diversity is inviting different kinds of people to a party; inclusion is asking everyone to dance; equity is asking everyone to help to plan the party and then valuing and utilizing their input.