Winner of the 2018 Relocate Award for Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion

Winner of the 2018 Relocate Award for Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion

Bournes Relocation Solutions 

Sponsored by: RES Forum Learning Lab

Above: Jeremy Chandar

Res Forum Learning Lab

The first-ever Relocate Award for Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion recognises the awareness-raising and practical steps Bournes Relocation Solutions is taking to support people who identify as LGBT+ overcome the challenges they might experience during the assignment lifecycle.

The judges were impressed by Bournes’ “highly proactive approach to sharing knowledge and understanding to widen the profile of international assignees, and open up the global mobility landscape to the LGBT+ community.”

The initiative is a natural extension of Bournes’ people-first mantra, which helped win the company its second award of the evening (Best International Removals, see page 58). It also exemplifies how global mobility is responding with agility to raise performance and overcome the challenges international employers are facing.

“D&I is a topic that over the past few years we’ve been hearing a lot about in the global mobility space,” explains Kirsty Parsons, Bournes’ marketing director. “These issues are important to people we work with, so it was really important to do our bit.”

Raising the standard of international assignment support for all

Bournes devised and ran an inspiring information session delivered with partners including equality campaigner, Stonewall, for colleagues internally and participants from the wider global mobility sector.

“Our account managers spend a lot of time with our clients and their assignees getting to know them. The LGBT project is a really good example of understanding the people we work with, the specific challenges different groups have and how we support them,” continues Kirsty Parsons.

Read about the winners of the other Relocate Awards in the Summer issue of Relocate Magazine.

“Some of this is around the safety risks individuals might face, or the implications for same sex couples in the visa process or the cultural side of relocating. It’s about understanding the impact so we can all work together to keep people safe and give them a good experience on assignment that is also successful longer term.

“If you ignore those issues and fail to recognise individual situations, you are putting people at risk, limiting opportunities and not doing the best job you could be doing.”

Practical support and building awareness

Looking at how best to manage safe and successful moves, the event offered practical advice that could be quickly enacted. “What was really good about this event is that usually they can be all about the theory, and why you should do it, rather than give you great take-aways you can put into action” said Kirsty Parsons, marketing director.

“We saw on the day and after the event in the follow-up that some of the information we circulated there is actually making a difference and has opened people’s eyes to the issues. It was a really good event that we were proud of. Receiving this Relocate Award is the icing on the cake.


“We hope that more organisations start having those conversations and putting in place actions to drive the change. It’s also about pushing this forward at an individual level to get people to take ownership for action and implementation. Diversity and inclusion is not just a top management issue.”

“It’s easy to be fairly sheltered if you live and work in the UK every day. If you haven’t got the awareness, you just aren’t going to understand it or have the right approach to it. Raising the awareness is half of the battle.”

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