The Push for Rainbow Talent in Global Mobility – Part 4

Rainbow Talent

I recently started this series of posts on the push for “Rainbow Talent” in Global Mobility. The Push for Rainbow Talent in Global Mobility is a series we created for Pride Month to raise awareness of the issues diverse and queer talent might experience in the realm of Global Mobility. In Part 1 we focused on the WHY and in Part 2 on the HOW. Here we focus on the benefits of a more inclusive Global Mobility program. In part 4 we will focus on WHAT you can do to change with ten concrete action steps. We discussed the background here (Part1) and here (Part 2). I’ve also given you lots of reasons why it makes sense to support Rainbow Talent further here (Part 3).

I haven’t concentrated on what it would look like to make that happen. 

The reason why I follow up with the reality check so late is that we will often hear “reality” as an excuse to not take action at all, which in my book is not good enough.

Let’s also remember that we have a lot of “Rainbow Talent” in our industry. Most of us are female and/or gay come from bicultural backgrounds, are married or partnering with a person with a different cultural background, speak three to four languages and we all drink too much coffee.

The Global Mobility industry attracts us like bees to the honey pot and let’s be honest we even sometimes shy away from the additional complexities of working with “Rainbow Talent” ourselves.

I committed in 2020 to help more marginalized groups with one-to-one coaching and my internship program and now I need you to help me in this mission of bringing the Human Touch back into Global Mobility. 

Let’s all fight for what we believe in and start in our own backyard.

This post includes eight action steps for Senior and Global Mobility Managers to consider. 

What are these legal and immigration issues?

Most countries still don’t allow same-sex marriage. Homosexual conduct is still illegal in 69 countries according to the human rights campaign for Foundation 2021. There are still seven countries where homosexual conduct is punishable by death. In most countries in the world, it’s still hard to obtain immigration sponsorship for unmarried partners or de facto spouses.

With dual career couples among the Rainbow Talent the lack of career opportunities for the partner could be a serious problem and even a reason to decline an international assignment who you consider to be a Rainbow Talent will depend strongly on your home base in your home country, usually the country where your headquarters are. We recommend you adopt our summary of all marginalized groups into RAINBOW TALENT from here.

Let’s remember that despite the common challenges we can support more and do more with small steps.

The Macro Level of Rainbow Talent

So here’s a reminder why this is important don’t forget that in the last three years and even before in global mobility we have been dealing with the so-called BANI world (which stands for brittle, anxious, non-linear, and incomprehensible) and we have been focusing on the global eco disasters the pandemic the war in Ukraine and usually we get involved in all of these let’s say global crisis and we have to deal with them all the time so we became crisis managers and in the case we don’t face any global crisis you can bet we have some crisis going on in our personal lives so we’re really good at managing crises.

With the work-from-anywhere movement, administrations are now starting to reduce hurdles and barriers social security laws are revised to match the expectations of cross-border commuters and we see our population and Scope increasing evermore. I did already predict that this will happen when I first started out to write “The Global Mobility Workbook. The last edition already had this definition of the scope of global mobility but what we cannot stress enough it’s the complexity that we are facing right now.


Another topic that is on the agenda everywhere and the bust of the day is the ethical use of machine learning and artificial intelligence in global mobility. And on the job market you probably also notice the trend towards great resignation and we are also facing recession and inflation currently. and global mobility managers have been dealing with these topics all the time but what we tend to underestimate is that marginalized groups usually suffer more from these issues than let’s say the white male mainstream character who always had better chances in the world not to condemn the white old man, I still think we need the superheroes and as I recently learned it’s also important that we’re grateful for what they have built. I also want to remember that in Europe in the generation of my grandparents for example we faced war, trauma, and destruction and our grandparents and parents basically rebuilt Germany and many parts of Europe.

What we have observed though is that psychological safety has not improved during the pandemic it has rather declined especially in global virtual teams it is harder now to build trust that turnover is higher retention is more difficult, especially among the younger generation people who joined companies during the pandemic it’s a lot harder for them to feel that they belong to an organization. so we need to do more about this and we also need to remember societal changes and demographic changes.

Michael and Rob

Londoners Michael and his husband Rob received an offer to move to Hungary with Michael’s work but they declined it due to a new law that discriminates against gay couples. They decide to move to Zurich, Switzerland instead. In Zurich, Michael feels safe at work and his career hits off well. Rob, on the other hand, has a hard time finding a job. His last name is Vracovic and his slightly olive skin tone always seems to turn people off. Even though he is at a B2 German level and has a Masters’s degree in Digital Marketing he does not land any interviews and after 12 months of job search feels depressed and lonely.

The Micro Level of Rainbow Talent

Global mobility policies and communication still is often written for the white male Expatriate with a wife and two children and a nice golden retriever called Timmy and we have to remember you know that if we would like to address other talents we also have to change our basic assumptions and how we communicate with our population.

We think that the sustainable Expatriate experience includes technology that helps us improve the human touch and is focusing on providing a long-term career experience that is integrated into succession planning and Talent development. In this sustainable expat experience, we see improved diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) in the selection process.

We ensure that there is good mental health and well-being on any kind of international assignment project or business trip. while we do not always know everything about our employee’s personal life because not every employee is out of the closet we need to remember when we are dealing with a new democratic such as Michael that we would like to see how we can help them and how we can talk to them about their personal issues in relation to Global Mobility.

If you belong to RAINBOW Talent in Global Mobility or if you are a Global Mobility Manager you can always contact me for a first conversation here

How to Talk to Rainbow Talent

We define “Rainbow Talent” as an umbrella term for these marginalized groups of talent:

  • Women of all skin colors,
  • BIPOC: The acronym BIPOC refers to black, indigenous, and other people of color and aims to emphasize the historical oppression of black and indigenous people,
  • LGBTQIA+: LGBTQIA+ stands for Lesbian, Gay, Transgender, Queer or questioning, and other sexual identities and genders,
  • Religious and cultural underrepresented groups in your home and host countries,
  • People with disabilities,
  • People with a broad range on the mental health spectrum, 
  • Refugees and Asylum Seekers.

We need to remember that you might yet have to understand the different needs of your Rainbow Talent. Hence, for a pilot period of at least one year, I would recommend you regularly ask them and listen to what they tell you. For example, if they feel challenged by the immigration process you should ask them what they found helpful and if they see room for improvement. While you won’t be able to change the legal system in the host country, you will be able to improve their expat experience.

Ten Action Steps

1 – Start small with inclusion, and think big by setting goals for Rainbow Talent in Global Mobility, potentially focusing on one marginalized group only in the beginning. For example, you could start with women and set a goal of 30% female assignees by 2030.

2 – Redefine “Family” in your Global Mobility Policy, and include all marginalized groups, their partners, and also members of the family that a traditional policy would usually exclude such as parents, in-laws, and older relatives. Consider adding adopted and foster children, as well as de facto spouses. Decide what you accept as proof of a (de facto) marriage such as a shared rental contract, an affidavit, or a same-sex marriage certificate, even if it does not qualify in the host country’s legal system. 

3 – Review all communications for inclusive language by applying the United Nations guidelines for inclusive communication.

4 – Update the Benefit Matrix, offer tax support and spouse career coaching to dual-career couples, and change parental leave regulations. 

5 – Support Expat Partners through Immigration by upgrading your support for immigration by increasing the budget and finding a provider who is specialized in helping with complex immigration situations.

6 – Expand Your Health Insurance to include the relevant family members in the coverage.

7 – Expand your International Pension Plan to include the relevant family members in the coverage. If your provider does not allow to include all relevant family members consider moving to a new provider who offers specific solutions.

8 – Review Compensation for Equity. Make sure that your Rainbow Talent is compensated on an equitable level with other talent and conduct non-biased research to ensure equity. Offer a box of chocolate (core-flex) approach to make sure that you meet the needs of your Rainbow Talent.

9 – Ask Vendors to Increase Representation of Rainbow Talent. Work with vendors who share the proportion of Rainbow Talent you wish to see in our world.

10 – Remember the Pets. Many Rainbow Talents might not have children but it could be that they have a dog or a cat that means the world to them. Make sure that you include the furry friend in the package by offering special support through the move, quarantine, or temporary lodging.

If you are ever unsure what to do next you can refer back to the “Ten Commandments for the Global Mobility Manager“.

Sign up here for more:

Do you need more support for a breakthrough in your career? You can contact me for a first conversation by filling out the contact form. Sign up here for more.



Explanation of “The Box of Chocolates”

  • Budget the cost of the move with a simple spreadsheet
  • Allow flexibility within the budget by monitoring actual expenses
  • Take services out of compensation and pay schools, landlords, and other providers directly
  • Let Heidi and Govind select what they need from the box


The Definition of Rainbow Talent:

RAINBOW TALENT according to us:

  • Women of all skin colors,
  • BIPOC: The acronym BIPOC refers to black, indigenous, and other people of color and aims to emphasize the historical oppression of black and indigenous people.
  • LGBTQIA+: LGBTQIA+ stands for Lesbian, Gay, Transgender, Queer or questioning, and other sexual identities and genders.
  • Religious and cultural underrepresented groups in your home and host countries,
  • People with disabilities 
  • People with a broad range on the mental health spectrum.
  • Refugees


Expat Coach Angie
Expat Coach Angie

About the Author

“I’m on a Mission to Bring the Human Touch back into Global Mobility.”

Angie Weinberger is the Global Mobility Coach and author of The Global Mobility Workbook (currently on sale). Her upcoming publication “The Global Rockstar Album” is a self-help book for becoming a more inclusive leader. Sign up to get invited to the book launch event on 26 September 23 of “The Global Rockstar Album”: VIP Readers.

Read her blog: Read the “Club Sandwich” – Global People Transitions


Further Resources

The Push for Rainbow Talent in Global Mobility – Part 1

The Push for Female and Minority Talent in Global Mobility – Part 2

The Push for Female and Minority Talent in Global Mobility – Part 3

The Importance of Looking at the Whole Family in the Expatriation Process will raise Global Mobility to the Next Level – The Bridge School: Powered by American Virtual Academy

Unpacking the Shortcomings of Lifestyle Expatriation – Global People Transitions

The Female Expat and Cinderella

Enhancing the Expat Experience – A deep psychology approach

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