Breaking Barriers to Mobility for LGBTQIA+ Talent 06.29.2022 | Laura Levenson

Pride Month may be drawing to a close, but we remain committed to supporting, celebrating, and amplifying the advancements made within our industry to make mobility accessible and inclusive of all talent, especially those within the LGBTQIA+ community –- year-round! Because a diverse, equitable culture leads to a happier, engaged, more inspired workforce.

This means recognizing that there’s still work to be done. Pride Month is as good a time as any to take a long look at your mobility programs and policies to ensure they are inclusive and reflect your current and future employee base. To get you started, we’re sharing some bite-sized insight to help you in your journey towards eliminating the barriers and challenges faced by LGBTQIA+ talent when it comes to mobility.

Tip # 1: Revisit Hiring Practices

Diversity and inclusion are not mutually exclusive. You can’t develop an inclusive mobility program if you’re not drawing from a diverse talent pool. Pushing DE&I objectives to the forefront of your hiring strategy – and ensuring that your hiring practices are free of biases or barriers for LGBTQIA+ talent – is a necessary first step to developing a diverse and inclusive mobility program! 

Tip #2: Supportive Home Finding Solutions

Unsurprisingly, some assignment destinations pose a more significant risk for LGBTQIA+ families. So, when it comes to the home finding process, ensure that the destination agent working with the LGBTQIA+ couple has a comprehensive understanding of any safety and security challenges, particularly in more conservative regions. Customized solutions are vital in these scenarios to ensure that the neighborhood and recommended housing options are suitable, secure, and meet the unique needs of the relocating family.

 Tip #3: The Freedom to Refuse

To develop a mobility program that is inclusive as possible, you can’t neglect the refusal process. Employees who turn down an assignment should not fear that their decision will negatively impact their career. Alongside creating a workplace environment in which global mobility is encouraged, an employee should also feel comfortable declining an assignment without fear of damaging their career prospects or opportunities for promotion.

A thoughtful refusal process engages the employee in career mapping, guides them towards other up-skilling opportunities, and offers alternative avenues to advance (and thrive)!

 Tip #4: Mind Your Language

Gendered language within policies can be a barrier for LGBTQIA+ mobile employees and their families. After all, not everyone’s family fits a standard definition, which can impact who can accompany the employee, the eligibility of benefits, and ultimately, the employee experience.

Whichever definition approach aligns with your company’s philosophy and culture, it’s always a good idea to include company legal and compliance resources in the final decision to ensure adherence to all applicable laws. Many of Weichert’s clients are moving to a neutral approach in policies, removing he/she, simply referring to the person as you and your, taking on a bias-free, friendly tone.

 As always, we recommend you lean into learning on your journey to inclusive mobility. LGBTQIA+ employees will have vastly different experiences when it comes to international assignments; learning from their experiences is a great step towards understanding what factors can influence the experience of your LGBTQIA+ talent, how your policies can offer more support to address these gaps, and how non-LGBTQIA+ staff can be better allies while working abroad.

The fight for equality, inclusion, and visibility of the LGBTQIA+ community doesn’t end in June, nor should our allyship. Weichert Workforce Mobility is dedicated to listening, learning, and taking action towards making work happen for everyone, year-round. For more insight on how to look at your mobility program through a DE&I lens, reach out to our team. We’d love to chat.

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Written by Laura Levenson


Laura Levenson is a Practice Leader in Weichert Workforce Mobility’s Advisory Services group. She has worked in management capacities for workforce mobility and Big Four firms, and is well-versed in bringing clarity to the most pressing global talent deployment challenges. She brings over 25 years of experience to her role and is a frequent speaker on the mobility conference circuit.

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