In more than half the world LGBT+ people are not protected from discrimination by workplace laws. 70 countries still criminalise homosexuality – 10 with the death penalty – while only 28 recognise same-sex marriage. If you work for a multinational corporation and are given the opportunity for an overseas assignment or relocation these are unfortunately some of the considerations you will have to have if you are LGBT+. Will this new country be safe for me? Will my partner be able to obtain a spousal visa? Will I be protected from discrimination? Will I be lonely or ostracised because of my LGBT+ identity?
Some of the most common regions large companies send their employees to are less than favourable to LGBT+ people. In Hong Kong 75 percent of gay people are closeted at work, in Singapore it’s 72 percent, in Russia that number jumps to 80 percent.
International assignments are only becoming more common in the corporate world. They have increased by more than 25 percent since the year 2000 and are expected to increase to 50 percent by next year. It is now commonplace that as part of your career you will be sent overseas. Moving between countries with vastly different legal and social systems is part of our increasingly globalised world. It can promote fantastic new business and personal opportunities, and LGBT+ people should not be left behind.