Examining Diversity Across the Mobile Workforce 09.2.2020 | Laura Levenson

mobility diversity

I recently had the honor of facilitating a virtual workshop with Expat Academy on the topic of Diversity in Mobility. Although we’re living in the era of “screen fatigue,” an impressive number of corporate mobility professionals tuned in and actively participated in this discussion. Reviewing their input, the message couldn’t be clearer:

Companies that don’t include the mobility function in candidate selection do so at their own risk, and most hiring managers still need to be educated and made aware of the power of a diverse and inclusive mobile workforce.

Going forward, mobility must take the reins and lead the effort to broker open discussions between hiring managers and diverse employees to understand the appetite for assignments and the concerns of both parties. Such discussions will help break down barriers, encourage needed dialogue and open the possibility of mobility to a significantly broader range of candidates.

Overall, I was encouraged by the level of engagement, observations and suggestions. In the spirit of inclusivity, I am happy to share a few of the salient learnings and comments from participants:

“Being responsible for dependent children or older adults could affect a person’s perceived ability to contribute, but that doesn’t mean they are of any less value. They can offer insights into ways of coping and working that other people haven’t considered.”

“When discussing an assignment, I’ll be more aware that the employee may need further support than is generally assumed. It is imperative that the assignee trusts the GM/HR personnel as it could help tremendously if they were able to fully inform GM/HR prior to an assignment being formalized.”

“I have been asked to be part of my company’s focus on diversity and inclusion. My first recommendation will be that the working group include all stakeholders within the business who have involvement in global mobility: Talent, HR and Management. This will ensure buy-in going forward and that everyone knows their role within diversity and inclusion policies and practices.”

Bottom Line: To achieve a more inclusive and diverse global and workforce, it is imperative that mobility be consulted early in the process and play a prominent role in talent management planning, inclusive leadership and bias mitigation, and diverse candidate sourcing. Success in this endeavor starts at the very highest level of leadership, and only then can we expect not only a diverse but also inclusive globally mobile workforce.

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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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