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How to encourage diversity, equity & inclusion in your mobility program when you’re not sure where to start

3 steps to a more diverse, equitable and inclusive workforce mobility program

When you believe wholeheartedly that a diverse, equitable and inclusive workforce has a significant impact on retention, performance and business innovation, you want to be at the forefront of advancing this initiative.

But when you’re not clear on how you can make a meaningful impact in your role that will drive change, this can prevent you from moving forward.

Sometimes it just takes a few ideas to get the clarity you need to put together a manageable plan. Just remember you don’t have to undertake everything all at once. Instead, focus on making consistent progress that will have a significant impact over time.

Here are a few thoughts for getting started towards achieving your diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) goals in your mobility program and aligning them with the larger DEI goals of your organization:

1. Analyze corporate and workforce mobility demographics

Since workforce mobility often plays a direct role in establishing a path towards leadership for employees, these individuals need to see themselves represented within your program, or they may not think pursuing a leadership position is a viable option. But before you can make informed recommendations for advancing diversity, equity and inclusion efforts, you need data.

To get a baseline understanding of your current employee population, analyze your corporate demographics. Then, compare this data with your mobility program to identify where imbalances or inequities may exist.

For example, take a look at gender diversity within your organization to see if participation in your mobility program mirrors it. If there are equal men and women in the organization, but 70% of men receive assignments, there is a clear imbalance. Besides gender, where possible, you should also aim to collect and track other information like race and ethnicity to learn more about inequities that may be impacting a broader spectrum of employees.

Once you have this data, you can have an informed dialogue about why certain employees may be over or underrepresented. This allows you to think through solutions for remedying potential biases, processes or other issues that impede program access or contribute to diversity and inclusion challenges.

2. Review your workforce mobility policy benefits

When the same benefit frameworks for assignments and relocations have been in place at your company for years, it’s easy to accept them at face value. In fact, you may not have even realized they were designed to serve a particular demographic. But to ensure your mobility policy benefits reflect modern norms and allow you to treat all employees equitably, they must reflect changing family structures.

To update your benefits, start by identifying family types, such as two-parent, single-parent or single-person households. Then, put parameters around your definitions of family that will help you craft the appropriate support. For example, if you have a single-parent family, determine if a mother-in-law or caretaker can be covered in your benefits.

Making these types of decisions can help foster diversity, equity and inclusion by allowing more employees to take assignments that may not be possible under existing benefit structures.

3. Examine your mobility candidate selection process

How do you select the employees who will go on an assignment or relocate to another city, state or country? If you operate like many organizations, you’ve been following the same process for years.

In many cases, this means the decision is often made by a particular business manager who has handpicked an employee for a specific role. While this can be ideal for certain employees, hidden biases may prevent other skilled talent from accessing these opportunities.

To ensure you are more intentional with diversity, equity and inclusion in your workforce mobility program, start by reviewing your current candidate selection process in partnership with other key business stakeholders. Then begin discussing ways to revise existing practices to ensure employees receive fair and equitable consideration.

Learn more about building a diverse, equitable and inclusive workforce mobility program

Organizations are at very different stages of their DEI journey. Whether you’re just getting started and need to activate baseline activities or have already crossed those foundational milestones and are ready for next-level initiatives, we’ll work together to unlock DEI’s full potential.