4 tips to introduce DE&I into a travel programme
DE&I is a growing priority for managed travel programs. If you're not sure how to introduce DE&I into your travel program, check these tips from BCD's D&I leader Yvette Bryant.
As travel managers create or evolve travel programs, they should consider how to better represent and respect diversity so business travellers from all backgrounds feel supported and included.
Here are some tips to get started.
1. Use workshops, surveys and meetings to gain understanding of the current state of the travel policy from a DE&I perspective – what's working, what could be improved, and what's needed but not provided. If your organization has a DE&I program, leverage it for travel. Diversity councils or inclusion groups, formed by members and allies of a particular community – women, people with disabilities, or LGBTQ+, for example – can provide valuable feedback.
2. Partner with human resources to make DE&I a travel program priority. Engage your HR teams to find out what the employees are saying about DE&I and to implement strategies developed from your feedback channels that address current gaps and ultimately increase employee engagement and satisfaction. A well-designed travel policy will contribute to an attractive employment package, which helps HR recruit and retain loyal, engaged, and productive employees.
3. Provide duty of care for a diverse workforce: Companies must look after the safety and wellbeing of all travellers, but certain diversity dimensions such as traveller race and ethnicity, gender, gender identity and expression, age, sexual orientation, and accessibility for travellers with disabilities may require special consideration. Ethnicity, gender, gender identity and expression, or sexual orientation may increase an employee's chances of being targeted in certain countries. Ensure accessible options for travellers with disabilities during trips and at the destination: Inform company leaders about potential risks and duty of care responsibilities. Educate employees about risks and precautions and available resources. Make it easy for them to communicate with your company about concerns or incidents. Create and test a plan of response to handle incidents.
4. Promote cultural awareness: When people are well-informed, they’re better able to make smart decisions that keep them safe and comfortable. Help your travellers familiarize themselves with social norms in foreign countries – for example, by creating handy destination guides.
This blog was authored by Yvette Bryant, Senior Vice President of People & Culture at BCD Travel. Register now for Business Travel Show London, 29-30 June at ExCeL London and meet the team on stand G40 to keep the DE&I conversation going.