While mobility may not have much control over which new hires and existing employees come their way into the company's mobility programs, they can consider the impact that bias, prejudice and stereotypes might have on the mobile employee experience. 

According to this article, everyone has biases and stereotypes based on their experiences and messages received from media, home and community. Because of that, bias — whether implicit or explicit — along with stereotypes and prejudice exist across all businesses and can negatively impact employee experiences. Here is an example I saw recently that was shared in the August 9 Ozy Daily Dose

On average, Black workers face double the unemployment rate of white workers who share similar education levels. One reason is labor market discrimination against Black workers, as shown by studies such as the seminal 2003 work titled “Are Emily and Greg More Employable Than Lakisha and Jamal?”  

That field study took resumes that had been assigned "either a very African-American sounding name or a very White sounding name. The results showed significant discrimination against African-American names: White names receive 50 percent more callbacks for interviews." For more details on the study, head to the National Bureau of Economic Research. These results suggest that racial discrimination is still a prominent feature of the labor market. 

Learning more about this study caused me to wonder whether the exception process within global mobility programs could be impacted by bias, prejudice and/or stereotypes. While people like to believe that they are rational, logical, and fair, the fact is that people are continually under the influence of cognitive biases. These biases distort thinking, influence beliefs, and sway the decisions and judgments that people make each and every day. So then, are specific requests from employees for things outside of normal and approved policy being approved or denied because of biases related to race, gender, employee education or work level, age, class, and so on and so on? We have not done a study on this, but based on other research, you would have to expect the answer is "yes."

So the next question becomes: How do we prevent bias, stereotypes and prejudice from impacting the exception process? Well, given that almost nobody loves the exception process (not fun to have to ask for one, carries on a power imbalance and often is a time-consuming endeavor for all involved), why not consider how to reduce or eliminate exceptions by increasing the level of choice and control that an employee has in their own relocation journey?

Our technology-based solution —  Point C — is here to change the way companies do mobility. It allows programs to control costs, offers unique benefit solutions, enables complete employee choice, reduces administrative work and elevates the employee experience. Exceptions can often be completely eliminated by allowing employees to select services specific to their needs, without asking. In so doing, any biases, stereotypes or prejudices that could have come into play in the process previously are now gone! Here's a bit more on how Point C can help a program better address diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) goals, and in turn be better equipped to counteract biases and stereotypes.

We have written additional posts about bias and global mobility. Here are a few to consider: