Are you ready for a bit of a shocking statistic? It’s 2021 and still more than 90% of LGBTQ+ have kept their sexual orientation hidden while they travelled because they felt unsafe. Does your business have a strategy in place to keep all of your employees safe as they travel on behalf of your company - regardless of their personal choices regarding their sexuality? If not, now is the time to do so.
Inclusivity and diversity are not just buzzwords anymore. Companies that give fair and equal opportunities to employees from different races, genders, social strata and sexual orientations are seeing an incredible boost in their employer brand, talent acquisition, and employee retention. In the end, it’s just good business.
Here are four steps you can take to ensure that your employees are supported and safe when they represent your company on a business trip:
It is your job to know what type of legislation may be in place in the countries your employees are tasked to travel to that may influence them in a negative way. For instance, homosexuality may not be illegal in a given country, but openly gay travellers may still encounter bias or even outright violence in certain regions due to prevailing attitudes or nuanced local laws about ‘public decency’.
As such, a pure Google search is unlikely to cover your duty of care in this regard. At the very least, you have to get in touch with locals on the ground and speak to travel professionals in each destination to know what your employees will encounter when they touch down.
Open up your duty of care program to all travellers within your company. Singling out LGBTQ+ employees for pre-travel prep is not an option, so instead make a point of educating your entire travelling contingent on what they can expect in different countries, and who best to react if they should encounter a threatening situation.
Likewise, your LGBTQ+ employees should have access to local support, and emergency numbers to reach you while they travel. If they feel unsafe, there has to be a clear-cut plan to help them immediately. Routine check-ins with travelling employees should also be part of your protocol in general.
Make a point of getting feedback from all your travellers when they return from corporate journeys. This way you can collate and leverage your own data on the prevailing sentiments and attitudes in each region, based on the experience of your employees in particular. This will help you to create better support programs from the ground up.
If you would like corporate travel assistance and support that will allow you to take good care of your team no matter where they are headed, our experienced travel planners are ready to share their expertise. Feel free to contact us to find out more about the full line-up of corporate and business travel-planning services we offer at TravelManor.