Bold Purpose on the Global Stage


Bold Purpose.  But Audacieux.  Proposito Audaz.  Algharad Jaree’.

However you say it, over the past year SHRM has been speaking out around the world on all things work.  Before the year ends, our work on immigration and the skills gap will culminate at four international events.  As our Head of Global Outreach and Operations, I have the privilege of travelling abroad on SHRM’s behalf, but it’s our collective work that shapes the opinions of the world’s leaders.  Let me share how.

You may have seen that the G20 Heads of State met last week in Buenos Aires.  While the media often focuses on “who talked to or stood by whom”, the real importance of this meeting was the adoption of a Declaration committing the world’s largest economies to addressing challenges confronting our societies - such as the future of work.  For the past several years, I have served on a task force of business leaders (B20) that makes recommendations on education and employment issues to the G20.  I have shared SHRM research, news articles and feedback from our Special Expertise Panels with the B20. We should all feel proud that the Declaration includes some of our thinking on equal education and employment opportunities for girls, inclusion of the disabled in the workplace, and migration.  We will continue to push these issues forward at the Japanese G20 Summit in 2019.

Five years ago, the G20 leaders committed to building apprenticeships and created an organization called the Global Apprenticeship Network (GAN).  Johnny recently joined the GAN’s board of directors and participated at an event at JPMorganChase in London where we shared the #wearework skills gap video.   This work dovetails with work we have done with the Embassy of Switzerland and the U.S. Department of Labor to promote apprenticeships in the United States.  Our Northern California staff and members participated in a “Zurich Meets San Francisco” discussion on the role of apprenticeships in the future of work.

Also last week, I participated in an off-the-record meeting with 17 governments and international organizations at the Intergovernmental Consultations on Migration in Geneva.  Although the “Chatham House” rules of this meeting mean that I cannot tell you most of what we talked about, I can share that I was one of only two business representatives, and that our #wearework commercial on  immigration, our skills gap data, and the Principles video caught their attention!  I’ve attended these meetings several times over the past fifteen years and while the wheels of policy change often move incredibly slow, I am gratified to hear that some of what we’ve been saying is now being echoed by policymakers. Several governments asked me to connect them to their national HR associations which I am able to do because of our role as permanent Secretariat of the World Federation of People Management Associations—WFPMA.

This week, I am in Marrakech at separate, but related events.   This week governments (including the U.S.), business and civil society will gather at the 11th Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) Summit.  I co-chair the official business delegation to the Summit (known formally as the Business Mechanism) and will present recommendations for improving employers’ access to foreign talent and ensuring that migrant workers are treated with dignity and respect. Next week, many Heads of State will gather here to adopt the first-ever Global Compact for Migration. Although the US and several other nations have withdrawn from this agreement, it is still a historic step to ensuring that the large movements of migrants around the globe are managed in a safe, orderly and legal process. As with the B20 recommendations, the business input to these events was developed with SHRM research and consultations with our members.  And, while these events may not make big news in the United States, you can be sure that the outcomes will have an impact on HR professionals and SHRM members around the world. 

We will continue working on raising the voice of the HR profession on the Global Stage and move, Together Forward. Ensemble en Avant.  Juntos Hacia Adelante. Maeaan 'iilaa al'amam.

Lynn Shotwell

SVP and Head of Global Outreach and Operations

The SHRM Blog does not accept solicitation for guest posts.

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