Supporting DEI in International Relocations

At last,diversity, equity and inclusion are shaping global talent mobility.


“Promoting and supporting diversity in the workplace is an important aspect of good people management – it’s about valuing everyone in the organisation as an individual. an effective inclusion and diversity strategy goes beyond legal compliance and seeks to add value to an organisation, contributing to employee wellbeing and engagement,” explains the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. The three key areas involved are:

  1. Diversity is recognising difference. It’s acknowledging the benefit of having a range of perspectives in decision-making and the workforce being representative of the organisation’s customers.
  2. Equity is about creating fair access, opportunity, and advancement for all people. It involves creating fair and just practices and policies that ensure every individual within the organisation can thrive.
  3. Inclusion is where people’s differences are valued and used to enable everyone to thrive at work. An inclusive working environment is one in which everyone feels that they belong without having to conform, that their contribution matters and they are able to perform to their full potential, no matter their background, identity or circumstances. 

These DEI elements combine to promote the representation and participation of different groups of individuals, including people of different ages, races and ethnicities, abilities and disabilities, genders, religions, cultures and sexual orientations.

The recent Emerald report states that a diverse expatriate profile leads to a competitive advantage for employers, with the mobility of diverse highly skilled individuals bringing benefits to countries, industries and the individuals involved.

Last year’s BGRS survey showed that “78% of companies consider DEI to be the most relevant aspect of corporate social responsibility to their mobility strategies.” So how can your international relocation partner support your organisation and its assignees in meeting your DEI goals?

Research findings within international talent mobility show that specific support is required:


  • Female assignees can benefit from employer interventions including: pre-assignment trips, training, mentoring, networking, career counselling and family support.
  • Mentors, sponsors, networks and role models are highlighted as particularly helpful in facilitating women’s international careers and are also reported as critical to female assignees’ job satisfaction.
  • In male-dominated industries, networking and role models can be especially valuable as expatriate gender diversity interventions.


  • The practical application of compensation and benefits elements of international assignment policies such as the provision of spousal assistance and housing may prove to be impossible for same sex couples in countries where homosexuality is illegal or being identified as part of a same-sex couple brings great danger.
  • Helpful interventions include providing advice to LGBTQ+ minorities on career decisions managerial support in home and host locations, visa assistance for partners, information on benefits available to dependants, links into support groups in the home and host locations, access to mentors and safe housing.
  • Preparation assistance including briefing on host country legal and cultural issues, a pre-assignment visit and language training are also recommended.
  • The use of social media is valuable to lesbian and gay expatriates to assist with adapting to new cultures.

Ethnicity, Race and Religion

  • Language training is helpful as speaking the local language is reported as influencing inclusion
  • Cross-cultural training is reported to help assist expatriates to develop personal attributes to perform more effectively in ethnically diverse workplaces.
  • Understanding and respecting religious beliefs are also deemed important, helping to develop cultural intelligence.
  • Effective use of social networks within the local ethnic community is recommended where possible


“Organisations need to support all assignees according to their individual needs,” explains Louise Chilcott of BTR International. “For international relocations, it means that a truly flexible global mobility policy is required. This ensures that each person receives the tailored support they need when they relocate to new host location, whether this is pre-assignment, or once they arrive at their destination.”

Is your organisation keen to apply DEI practices to your talent mobility programme?

Would you like to review how your international assignees are supported to ensure optimum flexibility?

Contact the experts at BTR for a friendly discussion without obligation. We appreciate that every assignee is a unique individual with their own requirements. We are proud of providing flexible relocation support so they thrive in their new role and location.  

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