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Diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) are more than just buzzwords, they’re valuable and tangible action items that work together to allow people to be their whole selves. There’s a global conversation occurring right now about DE&I, especially in how leadership can cultivate belonging across a diverse workforce with diverse talents. Research from Heartbeat by Peakon shows that employee concern about diversity and inclusion increased 19% globally, with more employees expecting an active promotion of DE&I from their leaders. In the U.K. alone, hiring demand for DE&I-related roles surged by 106% in the past two years, while job postings for these roles increased by 30%.
Further research reveals that not only is DE&I critical to employee belonging, it’s critical for business performance. When employees are free to be themselves and reach their fullest potential, turnover decreases by 50%, absenteeism decreases by 75%, and performance increases by 56%. For the mobility industry, the topic of DE&I is top of mind for mobility professionals managing a diverse workforce. As DE&I grows in relevance, it’s important to understand what DE&I means and how companies can cultivate it.
Diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) are terms that, when used together, can foster an environment that allows people of all backgrounds to succeed and reach their fullest potential. Diversity refers to all the ways people differ, from race, ethnicity, gender, and sexuality to diversity of thoughts, values, and more. Many people encompass several identities and experiences, and it’s the multitude and melting pot of identities that creates diversity. Often, it is from the diverse array of backgrounds that we can even discover similarities amongst one another.
Diversity is often paired with Inclusion, and workplace strategies employ the two for an overall D&I strategy. It is one thing to have a diverse workplace, but to include the diverse backgrounds and perspectives of this workplace is an important step. Having a seat at the table and feeling welcomed in a workplace environment, with the opportunity to fully embrace one’s thoughts and identities constitutes an inclusive environment. To foster such an environment, one may need to confront their implicit biases, or our unconscious stereotypes, attitudes or held beliefs about certain people and their lived experiences.
Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) go hand-in-hand, but Equity is an additional step to take to ensure that everyone is meeting their potential. Perhaps your workplace is becoming more diverse and inclusive, but what are the systems in place that created barriers in the first place? Going a step further, are all programs and policies set up to ensure justness and fairness for everyone? Equity gets to the root of underlying or potential issues, and tackling the root can ensure that everyone can blossom.
Mobility professionals are key to addressing DE&I across the employee relocation experience. Bias mitigation practices that account for hidden biases in the initial candidate selection process can ensure a diverse pool where often overlooked candidates can finally be seen, such as a single mother looking for a new opportunity. Mobility professionals who are up to speed on country-specific diversity situations can ensure that employees who are LGBTQ are safe when relocating to a new country. Along the way, inclusive talent mentoring with knowledge of the mobile employee’s identity and experiences can help them grow and prosper from their initial move to their re-integration in their home country.
Of course, these are just a few examples of integrating DE&I into the mobility experience. Doing so can not only enhance the experience of the existing employee, but allow a company to tap into new and wide-ranging talent pools to build a pipeline of global employees who reflect the diversity of our world while increasing ROI in global mobility. To get to this point, it’s crucial for leaders to start with the tough conversations around DE&I currently, understanding what may need to change. Getting meaningful feedback from managers and employees and re-designing current policies and programs with DE&I in mind can not only break down barriers, but move the mobile workforce even further.
At this year’s Global Workforce Symposium, leaders in the mobility industry discussed diversity, equity and inclusion through sessions on tackling implicit bias and what challenges and opportunities lie ahead for DE&I strategies in mobility. Members and conference attendees can access these critical conversations in our Learning Portal, as well as access additional engaging and educational content.Check it out!
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