Written by terrahomme.global
Published in governance & policies

global vs. local guidelines

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normally corporate company guidelines apply to all geographical areas of business. for instance, a policy (of guideline) stipulating how suppliers should be entered into an erp-system, covers all aspects of obtaining the master data, the process of approval to actually allow the supplier to be registered and then also the system steps to capture the supplier's data in the erp-system. with a global diversity & inclusion policy this mindset could lead to many problems.

country laws
it is astonishing to see that lgbt rights are not upheld in certain countries. in some there are strict laws forbidding any activities associated with being gay. the question now is, how does one implement a diversity & inclusion policy where the law of that country forbids activities by the lgbt community, where being outed as "gay" (or just rumoured to be) can have you imprisoned? is there away around this "small" problem? for argument's sake let's say a large corporation invests millions of dollars each year to have some products manufactured in a country where the human rights of the lgbt community are not honoured. should the company move its production plant to another country? should the company "enforce" a change in the country policy pertaining to gays? well, the bottom line is, what's written in the country's laws is what is implemented and govern all activities - for global as well as local organisations. no country will change its laws just because some global giant asks a change of its laws.
a fine line
the mentioning of human rights - especially those for the lgbt community - can (and should) feature in a diversity & inclusion policy. it doesn't matter where the corporate headquarters are and in which countries products are being produced. if the corporate headquarters however, are located in a country where the law does not acknowledge the human rights of the lgbt community, it just might mean that the wording of a policy on diversity & inclusion (if one ever should exist) would be very vague and not mention gay or lgbt in so many words. if the headquarters of a company is located in a country where the human rights of the lgbt community are acknowledged and even covered in the country's laws, the content of a diversity & inclusion policy should clearly state the stance the company takes in handling this topic. it's a fine line between making a bold statement, advertising equality within the organisation and the actual enforcement of that content in different countries. the wording is carefully selected to make sure that equality is mentioned, but in countries where equality is non-existent, these policies have absolutely no effect - should the matter be settled in a court..

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