Pride Month: The Importance of DE&I in Relocation
It is inevitable to re-think our individual freedoms in light of the events we have lived since the beginning of 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic has limited our ability to meet our loved ones, to hug them, or to be around them altogether.
Not being able to show affection is not something new to the LGBTQ+ community. There are 69 countries that have laws that criminalize homosexuality, and showing affection in these locations can result in punishment—from an official warning to the death penalty.
However, as we approach the 52nd anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, which is considered one of the birth places of gay civil rights, we can look back and celebrate the important milestones achieved since then.
The series of political demonstrations by members of the LGBTQ+ community in response to a police raid in New York were critical influences on the global trend toward decriminalising same-sex acts.
So far, 28 countries in the world recognise same-sex marriages, and other 34 provide some level of partnership recognition for same-sex couples. Also, as of January 2021, 81 countries have laws against discrimination in the workplace on the basis of sexual orientation. By contrast, there were only 15 in 2001.
In this decade, the movement towards building an inclusive work environment has become stronger and stronger. The primary reason Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DE&I) is ensuring respect is the overarching behavior in every interaction within the work environment, and it is also important to highlight the already proven benefits it brings to the business as far as productivity.
In a nutshell, employees that feel respected, seen, and heard as they are, are more prone to focus on their performance and the results they bring to the table.
In the relocation arena, focusing on ensuring we implement strategies for LGBTQ+ inclusion is vital. As we encounter different gender identities and different family setups, we need to be ready to provide support in an equal manner that validates their differences.
Here are some top tips to implement LGBTQ+ inclusivity when relocating employees:
- It all starts with talent selection: DE&I-driven hiring is the stepping stone to ensure the creation of talent pools that are diverse. Only by having a diverse pool of talent do companies have the opportunity to promote diversity within assignment candidates.
- Review your policies for LGBTQ+ inclusion: Relocation policies should make no differentiation between gender identity or sexual orientation. Also, keeping in mind that in some countries same-sex marriage is not legal, companies should ensure that the level of support provided to same-sex couples in these locations is no different than elsewhere, if possible. If moving the same-sex couple could endanger or harm them in any way, it may be adviseable to try to find a similar assignment or move to a location that is acceptable to the couple and will continue to support the employee’s career goals.
- Leverage the right language: Policies should be easy to comprehend with the objective of being inclusive in nature. When incorporating inclusion and diversity into new policy language, make sure the correct wording is used. For example, using gender-neutral terms avoids bias towards a particular gender. Also, using 'the' instead of 'he/she' in policies and other supporting documents ensures bias is eliminated from a language perspective.
- Ensure that relocating employees have access to LGBTQ+ networks & ERGs: Relocated employees often end up not being included in ERGs that celebrate diversity. Make sure that information is made available and ERGs are publicized to the relocated employees. Having support programs in place in countries where LGBTQ+ individuals could face challenges is also an important part of fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace.
While we celebrate Pride in June, it is important to commit ourselves and our organizations to supporting the LGBTQ+ community every day. By building DE&I fundamentals into policy and opportunities within our companies, we can create a more supportive, inclusive, and productive work environment for all.
For more information on strengthening DE&I initiatives in your organization, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.