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DEI at Graebel: Building Allyship

Since we last shared an update on our diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) efforts, our top related priorities continue to be centered on building inclusive workplaces for our employees and supporting our clients and supplier partners as they advance their own DEI efforts. I’m proud of the tremendous progress we made on our journey in 2022 and look forward to continuing that growth in 2023. Below, we’ll be sharing information about our progress and the goals we've set for the coming year.

2022 DEI Accomplishments

In 2022, we made significant progress in our DEI efforts, both for our company and with our partners. Our top four accomplishments from last year include:

  1. The Launching of DEI Consulting Services: In July, we officially launched our Graebel® DEI Consulting Services, which are a formalization of our years of DEI mobility experience and people-first philosophy. These services focus on helping clients structure and/or build upon their current mobility-related DEI initiatives, to foster innovative and inclusive workplaces of the future. We also offer new ideas, guidance and program recommendations to clients who are new to DEI or that don't have a current plan established for building a more equitable and inclusive workplace. In short, we meet clients wherever they may be on their DEI journey.
  2. Focusing on Empowering Partners: We launched The Power of Partnership quarterly for our supplier partners, much like our internal publication, The Power of Us employee quarterly. The newsletters aim to provide DEI education and always include “something to read, something to watch, and something to do,” so readers have actionable ways to expand on their learning and growth. Topics addressed included bias and equality versus equity. Our Q1 2023 quarterly centers on the impact of negative micro-behaviors.
  3. Continuing Education: We continued to provide our employees with opportunities to dive deeper into specific DEI topics and challenges, through two certified e-courses about moving from bias to inclusion and workplace DEI in action. Nearly 600 Graebel employees attended workshops and participated in discussions. Their involvement encouraged continued education and personal growth in each of their individual DEI journeys.
  4. Enhancing Governance: We redefined our DEI Council charter. As part of this work, we added five new cross-regional subcommittees that are focused on education/training; technology systems and data; policy; practice and process; communication; and rewards, celebrations and recognition. The diversity of the group offers multiple perspectives, which adds substantial value to the work we do regarding facilitating engagement and belonging.

DEI Goals and Accomplishments at Graebel in 2023

We expect 2023 to be a great year when it comes to DEI, thanks to a significant achievement and targeted goals around partnerships and initiatives:

Accomplishment: Global DEI Certification

In late 2022, we applied for our ISO 30415:2021 Diversity and Inclusion certification, an international standard that promotes a commitment to diversity and inclusion, and addresses inequalities in processes and practices stemming from conscious and unconscious bias. We’re proud to report that Graebel has been approved, which is a major recognition of all our hard work to date. We’ll use this certification to guide our internal efforts moving forward, as we’ll seek to remain in accordance with ISO requirements.

Goal: DEI Initiatives

Our DEI initiatives this year will focus on allyship. We’ll be building on our past efforts by introducing new education opportunities, workshops, and ideas – to be allies with each other and, collectively, with our suppliers, our clients, and to mobile employees as they all travel on their own DEI journeys.

Our ALLYship efforts will be defined by our themes: Advocating for self and others, Listening for understanding, Leading with empathy, and You (centering one’s actions and self-awareness to create change and make an impact in every area).

Our 2023 Allyship initiatives feature significant internal development that will focus primarily on group work and continuing education for our employees. This includes:

  • Employee Resource Groups: We’re exploring how to further engage and amplify employee voices, so we'll be launching the first of several employee resource groups (ERGs) this year, beginning with one to support our LGBTQ+ employees. These groups will provide employees with a space to exchange ideas and further collaborate and grow within Team Graebel.
  • Continuous Improvement: As DEI remains a core component of who we are, we’re continuously reviewing our processes. The needs of our employees are constantly evolving, which means there’s no DEI finish line. Instead, we’ll continuously assess our progress and focus our goals on improving experiences, building skills, and increasing our knowledge and awareness about – and for – the people we work with.
  • DEI Self-Assessments: We’re creating a structure of DEI assessments that will help employees understand where they are on their personal DEI journeys, whether they’re just beginning or already have a level of understanding of DEI concepts. While working through each phase, key activities will help employees assess where they are on their learning path, while providing a roadmap to the next growth stages.

Goal: DEI Focuses with Clients and Supplier Partners in 2023

We firmly believe it isn’t enough to just make Graebel an inclusive place to work. We’re also committed to exploring learning opportunities with our clients and partners, and providing guidance in areas where DEI intersects with mobility. We’ve been collaborating to pioneer best practices for years. This year, we’ll be focusing on two key areas:

The Five Cs: At our recent Partner Alliance Conference, we introduced the concept of what we call the Five Cs of DEI to our supplier partners. These building blocks of people-first thinking should always be included when planning and implementing inclusive, caring and meaningful change around diversity, equity, and inclusion:

  1. Commitment – Defining your personal level of commitment to the work behind DEI initiatives, as well as your organization’s
  2. Care – Developing a dedication to understanding the scope and importance of employee needs, and defining why DEI is important to you and your organization
  3. Courage – Being willing to encourage and foster difficult, and sometimes vulnerable, conversations and inspiring that bravery in others
  4. Curiosity – Encouraging yourself and others to explore and acknowledge what you know about stereotypes, biases, and marginalized identities – then, what you think you know, followed by what you need to know to impact change
  5. Change – Developing an investigative mindset that first examines processes and methods that may have excluded marginalized groups in the past – and then changing those practices to be more inclusive and equitable in the future

Discussions around the five Cs illustrated the importance of people-centered thinking when initiating meaningful DEI change. It also helped our supplier partners evaluate where they were on their DEI journey in the moment and identify what resources they’d need to advance to the next level in their growth process. We’ll continue to support our vendors and suppliers in 2023 so that, together, we can provide exceptional employee experiences to each other, to our clients and to mobile employees.

Consulting Services: As the year unfolds, we’re continuing to offer our Graebel DEI Consulting Services as a resource to help our clients and prospects up-level their mobility-related DEI efforts, whether they’re just getting started or looking for next-level initiatives. It’s encouraging to see the progress we’ve made with some of our clients last year via these services – from developing more inclusive policy language and practices to action plans that, if implemented, would result in greater diversity, productivity, and organizational competitiveness. Our DEI workshops are an effective way to guide clients through their DEI readiness journey and we’re eager to work with any business that’s ready to get started. We look forward to continued collaborations in the year to come.

Looking ahead to 2023

As businesses navigate 2023’s challenging landscape, we’re confident that continuing to invest in DEI will pay off in the long run. Dedicating time and resources to creating diverse, inclusive workforces empowers employees, drives lasting cultural change and provides significant bottom-line results. I invite you to join us on your organization’s DEI journey – wherever you may currently be on that path.

To take your DEI program to the next level, visit our interactive DEI tool and contact us for more information.

About the Author

Valencia joined Graebel in 2007 and now leads company-wide efforts to educate, coach and lead global transformation in the diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) space as a Certified Diversity Executive (CDE®). In addition, Valencia chairs Graebel’s Global DEI Council and recently expanded her team by appointing regional DEI leaders in EMEA, APAC and the Americas to better serve the needs of those in each area. Leveraging her extensive account management experience in talent mobility, Valencia supports current clients, prospects and supplier partners in developing more accessible and inclusive employee experiences. Valencia holds both the Certified Relocation Professional (CRP®) and Global Mobility Specialist (GMS®) designations from the Worldwide ERC®. Valencia is an executive board member for her local school district’s foundation ensuring equitable access and opportunity for every student. She also serves in an advisory role in support of the school district’s goal around equity and inclusiveness by holding the district accountable for interrupting the predictable and unfavorable experiences for the marginalized and underrepresented populations across the district. Valencia is a proven advocate for equity and inclusion, both at work and in her community.

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