Last week MOVE Guides hosted a networking and panel event for HR and mobility practitioners in the Bay Area. A night of networking surrounded a thought-provoking panel featuring David Windley, President at IQTalent Partners, Ed Frauenheim, Director of Global Research and Content at Great Place to Work, and William Taylor, Head of Global Mobility at Adobe.
I moderated the panel focusing on three key themes that we observe are most relevant to companies with headquarters or operations in the Bay Area: diversity in the workplace, global workforce trends, and the impact of Millennials on how companies operate.
To start off the panel, I pointed out that five out of the top 10 most diverse cities are in the Bay Area, yet diversity is an issue tech companies in the Bay struggle with. David Windley’s input on the subject was that “diversity is about creating a work culture that is inclusive - people bringing all of themselves to work and that we as a corporate culture value the differences.” David noted that diversity is one of the last hurdles to overcome in HR, but is a challenge due to the unconscious biases we all bring to work and that just “going by the numbers” doesn’t foster diversity until we change the culture and mindset of a company.
William added “there is a lot of focus around the tech community and diversity at the moment. The good thing about the tech community is that when they see a problem… they try to solve it.” And Ed highlighted that the best companies to work for promote high trust, high pride, warmth and all inclusiveness. In a recent study the highest changes in the best places to work were in areas of fairness and managers not playing favorites.
Transitioning to the topic of global workforce trends, William highlighted that in the “war for talent” global mobility is transitioning from a function responsible to simply put people in places to fill the short term gaps, to a strategic partner that helps build the future leaders in the organization. An anecdote shared with the crowd is that he’s never heard his name mentioned in an “all-hands” meeting, but already twice this year he and his team have been brought up for their contribution and he is now having regular meetings with the CHRO.
David echoed William’s sentiment that to attract top talent and develop leaders with a global business mindset, companies need to offer programs with rotations abroad. Ed shared some real world proof to the merits of offering employees opportunities to train and work outside their home market, highlighting how Marriot in India has a 10% lower attrition rate then it’s competitors - attributable in part to their training of managers in other countries.
Wrapping up on the topic of Millennials we find that both diversity and global workforce trends are influenced by the youngest generation of workers. Opposed to other panels that may highlight the challenges of a Millennial workforce, our speakers agreed that Millennials offer many positives to the workplace. Ed highlighted many of the key traits that Millennials look for in companies – fairness, equal opportunities, autonomy, working abroad – positively impact diversity and also the need to offer global work options.
You can watch the full panel here. Stay tuned for our upcoming events across the USA, EMEA and APAC - including our next industry panel in NYC in September.
If you would like to learn more about how MOVE Guides can transform your talent mobility program please email us here.