Companies who can commit to being flexible and innovative in their approaches to talent management, and who truly recognize the value of a diverse workforce, are positioning themselves for a stronger growth trajectory by developing a more engaged, and cohesive employee environment.
The following are suggestions of outside the box initiatives that companies are implementing to prove their commitment to an inclusive workplace, and to ensure that they are taking full advantage of the available global talent pool, regardless of sexual orientation:
The first step in breaking down the barriers felt by LGBTQ employees is developing a work environment that celebrates diversity, assuring individuals that divulging certain aspects of their personal life, will not result in any form of discrimination within their workplace. For some companies, this push for a more supportive working environment for LGBTQ employees has translated to the appointing of a Diversity and Inclusiveness Officer; an individual dedicated to ensuring that all managers and leaders within the company are abreast of laws and regulations regarding equality within hiring, recruitment, and retention of employees. For instance, if an LGBTQ individual is recognized as being well-suited to an international assignment, they are to be treated no differently from any other candidate, and further, they should be provided with the necessary tools and support to help work around any barriers that may present themselves in the host country location. Furthermore, these diversity officers are responsible for ensuring that these inclusion commitments transcend the global borders of the business, to prevent LGBTQ expats from feeling the need to return to the corporate closet while in their host country.
Larger organizations are creating their own internal LBGTQ networks to share news, updates, best practices, and experiences, as well as social support systems within and outside of the office environment. These networks can be an invaluable source of information for candidates to be able to source tips for success from current LGBT employees who have navigated the company’s mobility framework, and whom may be able to act as a mentor by acting as a safe and immediate information resource at the start of an assignment. Furthermore, this network can serve as a think-tank for suggestions on how an organization can better meet the needs of this cohort of the employee population.
Real Estate Solutions
When it comes to the home finding process, some companies are doing their due diligence in ensuring that the Real Estate Agent working with the LGBTQ couple has a comprehensive understanding of the safety and security challenges posed by a same-sex couple, particularly in more conservative regions. Customized solutions are vital in these scenarios.
Candidate Refusal Process
Some champions for workplace diversity encourage that companies review their candidate refusal processes as a part of ensuring their programs are as inclusive as possible. Alongside creating a workplace environment in which global mobility is encouraged, an employee should also feel comfortable in declining an assignment, without the fear of damaging their career prospects or opportunities for promotion. A robust refusal process is one that engages the employee in career mapping, to seek out other internal opportunities that the employee can leverage to challenge them and provide alternative avenues in which to advance.
For more information download our Whitepaper, Diversity Matters: Best Practices and Benefits for LGBTQ Assignees.