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How Companies are Making It Easier for Women to Relocate 02.18.2020 | Laura Levenson

Recently, one of our clients asked us for insight into how our other clients provide incentives to female candidates for assignment or transfer. As a relocation management company to incredibly creative and forward-thinking mobility clients, we’ve highlighted just a few of the approaches our clients are undertaking to drive gender diversity within their mobility programs.

Celgene, a pharmaceutical company recently acquired by Bristol Myers Squibb, and still operating under its’ own mobility program, has implemented policies surrounding parental leave, caregiver leave, daycare discounts, and parental support for behavioral needs in the USA.

Celgene also provides back-up child and elder care; pediatric, nutrition, and lactation consultants; and breast milk freezing and shipping for new moms on business travel and assignments.
Barb Colvin Senior Manager, Global Employee Services

From an assignee perspective, they provide breast milk services, along with education support and flexible work arrangements, globally.

According to Mala Cornell, Manager of Global Mobility for CPP Investment Board, “On the assignee front, while there’s nothing specifically called out in policy, we are flexible with all assignees given each assignee may have unique needs…. we have made exceptions to support emergency childcare or nanny search in lieu of other benefits or as an exception (as an example).”

In some regions, CPP Investment Board provides shared cost or discount pricing for daycare. Their policies globally include parental leave, family leave, shared parental leave, time away from work, work flex, and more.

At Entergy, Talent Acquisition Leader, Jonathan Heckert explains that the company has taken a two-pronged approach. In addition to increased awareness on ensuring access to female applicants during the job search, the company has also implemented parental leave and family transition assistance.

Vlad Dziak, Global Mobility Supervisor, HR Delivery at Liberty Mutual  also weighed in, “Liberty has pretty generous policies…for maternity, paternity, parental leave, flex and alternative arrangement or part-time work, but that would be more in line with general employment policies rather than targeted for women (or any other groups) on assignment.”

However, Liberty Mutual, has explored other creative solutions to drive diversity by leveraging their core/flex program:

  • Option to extend the number of home-leave trips for non-accompanying dependents at home, granting assignees more opportunities to travel home if the family stayed in the origin.
  • Immigration services for non-family members as a flexible option; resulting in a significant number of nannies joining families on assignment.
The imbalance in the number of women accepting assignments and transfers is still woefully low when compared to the gender split within the broader workforce. However, new types of assignments and flexibility are making things easier for women and employees with family responsibilities to go on assignment. 

Without some degree of flexibility and creativity it will be difficult to achieve a greater level of participation of women in the expatriate workforce. It is largely dependent on the combined actions of talent management and global mobility teams to achieve this higher level of participation. But it is great to see companies driving the diversity gender gap and empowering women to propel mobility!

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Written by Laura Levenson

Weichert_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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