“Glocalization is emerging as the answer to the question: ‘How do we make a culture of inclusion scalable?’” – Surbhi Srivastava, Sr. Talent Services Partner, ServiceNow (she/her) 

On December 9th, Out & Equal hosted the Q4 Global Forum: Glocalizing LGBTQI+ Inclusion – a shared forum for leaders from Brazil, India, China, and all over the world. The forum brought together hundreds of LGBTQI+ and ally professionals to share best practices and gain a cross-regional perspective on “glocalizing” LGBTQI+ inclusion.  

Here are five important takeaways from Glocalizing LGBTQI+ Inclusion:  

  1. Build local connections – Strategic partnerships with LGBTQI+ organizations are key. 

Community partnerships are an important tool in combining and mobilizing resources to influence change and achieve desired goals. LGBTQI+ organizations that are rooted in the local community understand the landscape for the LGBTQI+ community and can help companies create more inclusive workplaces. Local partners can be consulted when considering glocalizing any given policy or procedure, given that they have a trusted relationship with your company and are tapped into the community and the lived realities of LGBTQI+ people. 

  1. DEI practices are constantly evolving – be sure that you are too! 

Best practices are forever evolving, and learning never stops. Even language itself is evolving to make space for the LGBTQI+ community, particularly nonbinary people, in our conversations. Check out Out & Equal’s language guides in Spanish and Portuguese.  It’s important to continue learning about LGBTQI+ issues, progress, and trends where your employees live and work to ensure you are meeting the needs of your LGBTQI+ employees and their families. As LGBTQI+ progress and best practices move in different directions and at different paces in countries all over the world, be sure to have regular connection points with local teams to ensure that your company’s policies and practices are continually updated as needed. 

  1. “Glocalizing” is a two-way street. 

Ensuring that your company’s global LGBTQI+ policies and programs are applicable to every local offices is a two-way street. Flexibility, diverse perspectives, listening, and cross-team collaborations are all key parts in glocalizing new policies and practices. According to the 2021 report from Out & Equal, IBM, and Workplace Pride, “Striving for Authenticity”, 87% employees agree that their company or organization should take a more assertive public position on LGBT+ inclusion and belonging. This was a trend across the countries and levels within an organization, indicating that in-country employees expect their company to take action where they live. 

Although we often talk about scaling global to local when it comes to the implementation of policies and practices that originate at a company’s headquarters, there are plenty of great ideas that emerge from a local office. Ensure that local teams have visibility and a direct line to company leadership so that scaling local to global is also an accessible process. 

  1. Small local teams need regional and global visibility. 

Particularly in smaller local offices, the team in charge of DEI initiatives is often small but mighty. When considering scaling global policies and practices to local offices, it is crucial that these local teams have a voice and decision-making influence. Small local teams are often driven by passion and dedication to the work and have probably developed a level of resiliency and innovation in navigating pushback. It is important that these teams have a direct line to executive leadership and that they are a part of the decision-making processes for policy implementation. Additionally, when companies commit to educational and awareness initiatives across the company, smaller teams are better able to have open and honest conversations across departments.

  1. Infuse local cultural values into global best practices. 

Local cultural values are, unfortunately, sometimes seen as a barrier to inclusion. On the contrary, it is important to frame local cultural values as an asset to LGBTQI+ workplace inclusion. Inclusive policies that are built in alignment with local values are more sustainable and are more likely to have greater impact. For example, if family is a strong local value, a new inclusive parental leave policy could be communicated to employees and leadership as a policy that is in line with the company’s commitment to protect all families, parents, and their children.  

“Glocalization is a two-way street.  It’s not just how to localize HQ strategy, but we must think too how can local strategies impact global. Thus, shifting from a them vs us to a ‘we, us, our’ mentality.” – Curtis Baker, APAC Regional Inclusion & Diversity and EX Lead, Dow (he/him)  

“Local cultural values are assets, not barriers, to LGBTQI+ workplace inclusion. When local teams are an integral part of the glocalization process, the end result is a well-tailored policy that works in tandem with local cultural and business values, creating the most impact on not only ROI, but on employee engagement, retention, and the overall sense true belonging in the workplace.” – CV Viverito, Deputy Director of Global Programs & Stakeholder Engagement, Out & Equal (they/them

Thank you for joining us at the Out & Equal Q4 Global Forum. We hope that these five tips help you along your inclusion journey. Another format where you can build capacity and share your experiences with others is on the newly launched version of the Out & Equal Global Hub. The Hub, which has over 500 resources, workshops, case studies, and webinars on various topics related to LGBTQI+ workplace inclusion, as well as spaces for community dialogue, is a great place to continue the conversations that we have had today. 

The Global Hub is available exclusively to Out & Equal member companies. For more information about how your company can be part of the Hub, please contact: globalhubsupport@outandequal.org.