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Building a Culture of Belonging: Our 2024 DEI Focus

Talent mobility professionals are entrenched in global cultures and connect with so many people from all walks of life; that’s why it’s our responsibility to be educated about the diverse populations and communities we support. Graebel has long been on a journey to create a more inclusive world, for our clients, supplier partners and employees. We’re proud of our accomplishments and the growth we’ve seen in the industry, especially given the sociopolitical and economic challenges companies have faced in prioritizing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) over the last several years.    

At the same time, we recognize our work isn’t done – and never will be – and that’s why we’re continuously pushing ourselves and our network to improve.  

Early in 2024, Graebel employees participated in an engagement survey, to help us center our employees’ voices and to learn more about how they’re connecting with Graebel’s DEI efforts. While overall we had incredibly positive feedback (on average, we scored 84 out of 100 on our DEI questions), we learned that only 78% of employees felt a sense of belonging – the lowest DEI score we received.  

As we sat with that feedback and evaluated the impact of DEI, not just at Graebel or within the talent mobility industry, we were reminded that having policies and programs in place for people to feel included is only part of the work. For it to truly take hold, people need to feel like they belong – and that’s why we made belonging our DEI theme of 2024. Belonging is the belief that activates accessibility and enables human connections. In this article, we unpack how we’re building a sense of belonging at Graebel and in our network.  


DEI Accomplishments over the Past 17 Months 

Here are the top three DEI achievements from 2023 and so far in 2024 that have helped us create a stronger sense of belonging at Graebel and in the talent mobility industry: 

  • Launched two employee resource groups: Just as we seek to amplify mobile employees’ voices during relocation, we also seek to amplify Graebel employees’ voices. That’s why we launched our first employee resource group (ERG) in 2023. The LGBTQ+ People Respecting Individual Differences and Equality (PRIDE) ERG empowers employees to be their true selves at work, without fear of any personal or professional repercussions. Earlier this year we launched our second ERG, Women Inspiring Success and Empowerment (WISE), an inclusive community for women and allies that seeks to empower women to celebrate their successes and grow in their career as their authentic self.  These two groups provide opportunities for individuals to come together and set the stage for future ERGs our employees wish to build.  


"As a member of WISE, I joined a compassionate and supportive community. Being part of this group gives me a sense of collective responsibility and constant positive energy.” 

Ana Maria Kadell, Graebel WISE member


  • Created supplier partner DEI award: Our new DEI Inclusive Excellence Award celebrates a supplier partner’s achievements in the DEI space. This award is intended to encourage those in our network to join us on the DEI journey and to create an inclusive relocation from start to finish. We will present the inaugural DEI Inclusive Excellence Award at our 2024 Partner Alliance Conference.   
  • Earned industry certification: Last spring we became the first full-service, global relocation management company (RMC) to earn an organizational certification in diversity and inclusion from the Human Resource Standards Institute (HRSI). This recognition verified our commitment to continual improvement and actionable change. At the time of our achievement, Graebel was one of only six companies worldwide to earn the ISO 30415:2021 certification. 


Second Half of 2024 Priorities 

While we’ve made good strides so far in 2024, we’re keeping our sights set forward toward what else we can achieve this year. These are our priority focuses for the remainder of 2024 and beyond:  

  • Continuing learning journeys: We’re continuing to provide guidance and support for our employees’ learning journeys. This year the course assignments and facilitated discussions will focus on how everyone plays a role in building a culture of belonging – in the workplace and in our personal lives.    

  • Revitalizing our DEI platforms: Three years after the DEI Council was first established, we’re focused on introducing it to new employees and refamiliarizing existing employees with the group. Our hope is that this will inspire employees to join the Council and help lead our company’s DEI initiatives. We’ll also be relaunching our DEI intranet site with new content to help our employees as they educate themselves about DEI. Lastly, we’re aiming to stand up a new employee experience council for remote Graebel employees, to drive a sense of belonging for all employees, no matter where or how they work.  

  • Maintaining ISO certification: Earning the D&I ISO 30415:2021 certification was only part one – now we’re focused on keeping it. For us, that includes enhancing our reporting capabilities, to further prove the work we’re doing and impact we’re making. As we look ahead to the recertification process in four years, we’ll be following through on all our DEI commitments made as part of the ISO process.  

  • Bolstering clients’ DEI efforts: Many clients have robust DEI programs company-wide, but the challenge is integrating the work being done at the corporate level into mobility programs. Through our DEI Consulting Services, we’re helping clients by making sure their policies use inclusive language; reviewing exception programs through the lens of DEI; and ensuring the benefits offered are in support of the demographics of the company, to promote equity in which individuals are considered for – and accept – relocations and complete them successfully.  

We’ll continue to make progress on our DEI journey year by year, person by person, only if we as a talent mobility community continue to be intentional about our DEI efforts and actions. In today’s business world with so many competing priorities and limited resources, DEI may not be the top focus for some leaders, but at Graebel, it’s essential to building a resilient, collaborative and productive workplace for everyone. 

We’d love for you to join us on the journey. Check out our Interactive DEI Journey or contact us so we can learn from one another, encourage each other and push each and every one of us to be and to do better.