Two hands cup together to hold a tiny globe and a rainbow of six cut out stick figures. In the top right corner it says, “Now is the time to embrace diversity”. In the bottom left corner it says, "Shaping the future of global mobility.” And in the bottom right is the RES Forum logo.

Damian Porter, Noah Mobility

International work is undergoing a paradigm shift, greatly impacting the Global Mobility function within organizations. As the landscape evolves, GM holds a crucial role in fostering diversity and inclusion (DEI) across the talent pipeline, from recruitment to leadership. Before it goes too far, we need to delve into the intersection of relocation with DEI practices. There, we must examine existing challenges and propose actionable strategies to cultivate an inclusive culture in corporate relocation.


The evolution of international assignments towards short-term transfers and reduced relocation budgets reflects a shifting dynamic in global work opportunities. Remote work options have further altered the attractiveness of traditional international roles. Amidst these changes, there's a growing recognition of the importance of diverse talent pools for business success. However, there's a concerning backslide in DEI practices, with organizations failing to uphold their commitments, resulting in scepticism and reduced DEI initiatives.


Inclusive pathways

Historically, corporate relocation has been shaped by colonial legacies, privileging Western, Eurocentric perspectives. This legacy has perpetuated the underrepresentation of non-white, LGBTQ+, and female corporate expats. To address this, international assignment opportunities must become accessible to individuals from all backgrounds. However, lack of diversity in leadership roles persists, especially in Fortune 500 companies, highlighting the need for deliberate efforts to create inclusive pathways to leadership.


Underrepresented groups face multiple barriers in accessing international roles, including lack of transparency and precedent in recruitment practices. The absence of explicit, easily accessible support for diverse needs, such as family arrangements or safety concerns, deters individuals from pursuing international opportunities. Moreover, assumptions of unconscious bias and cultural discomfort further exacerbate the challenges faced by minority employees.


Proactive measures

Once hired for international roles, minority expats encounter additional challenges, from navigating cultural differences to accessing tailored support services. Traditional relocation policies often overlook the diverse needs of employees, perpetuating an exclusionary approach. To address this, there's a critical need for transparent and inclusive relocation policies that accommodate diverse circumstances. Companies need to foster open communication channels so that assignees can voice their experiences and challenges abroad. Proactive measures, including regular workshops on diversity and unconscious bias, equip employees with tools to recognize and address biases.


To foster diversity and inclusion in global mobility, organizations must prioritize hiring and policy transparency, personalize approaches to international roles, and align values across departments. Wider support networks, and increased DEI integration are also essential for creating an inclusive environment. Additionally, promoting diversity throughout your supply chain ensures inclusivity extends beyond internal practices.


The GM industry stands at a pivotal moment, where prioritizing diversity and inclusion is not just a moral imperative but a strategic necessity. By transforming practices to embrace diversity, organizations can drive positive change, empower underrepresented groups, and shape a more inclusive future. This transformation requires a concerted effort to embed transparency, inclusivity, and equity throughout the organization's culture and operations.


RES Forum research

This piece is taken from the RES Forum research paper Embracing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, shaping the future of global mobility. Written by Jessica Drucker from Rainbow Relocation, the report is a detailed and comprehensive deep dive into why DE&I matters, and a clear demonstration of why it’s so important to get it right. Plus, it’s a guide to achieving a better future for your colleagues and your organisation.


Get your copy of Embracing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, shaping the future of global mobility, here:


About Noah Mobility

We support companies and their employees during the entire process of relocation. Our aspiration: a first-class customer experience. Our promise: the perfect interaction of intuitive, efficient technology, personal support and flexible service selection. Whether via our app or our platform, we find the best consultant for your employees. At the same time, we provide our GM clients with an updated overview of employee relocation status and other useful data. People are at the centre of all our actions – we focus on fairness towards customers, employees and partners. This is how we set a new standard in the people mobility industry.