A new year is full of promise and opportunity to reflect on what has been and what will be. As I begin my tenure as President of SIETAR USA, I see a United States of America and world that is undergoing substantial change in the realm of intercultural relations—both positive and not so positive. Change is a constant and is to be embraced. Despite all the richness and benefits of cultural diversity that we and many others embrace and champion on a daily basis, we are entering a time in the USA where change has also taken the form of a resurgence of divisive rhetoric and events. SIETARians and other practitioners who work to foster understanding, bridge cultural divides, and embrace what is similar amongst us all are lights in this world. Our work has never been more important and SIETAR USA has a critical role to play in actively advocating for the value and rights of all persons.
How will we do this important work as an organization? By continuing to build upon our past efforts to create new opportunities for dialogue and engagement. We will expand our offerings by providing member-focused benefits such as webinars, an enhanced mentoring program, and more. We will increase our member ranks, which will, in turn, provide new avenues for networking and professional development. We will forge new collaborations with professionals in other fields. In 2017 we also look forward to providing another fantastic annual conference. Plan now to join us for our 17th annual conference October 18-21, 2017 in San Diego, California. We are also always seeking new talent to help us with these efforts. We are currently seeking a professional to fill the role of Membership, Outreach, and Diversity Director (MOD); is it time for you to get involved in SIETAR USA? Please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to be considered for the MOD position. General inquiries about other matters should be sent to email@example.com.
Starting 2017 must also include thanking those who have come before me and served SIETAR USA so well. On behalf of our members, I extend a heartfelt thank you to President Patricia Coleman. Patricia served this organization and its members with unfailing service and care from 2015 to 2016, and as President Elect in 2014 prior to that time. Thank you as well to outgoing members of the Board of Directors and Advisory Council: Chad Beyer, Secretary/Membership Outreach & Diversity; Amy Rausch, Treasurer; Valli Murphy, Local Groups; Sue Shinomiya, Conference Oversight; Anne Marie Lei (Advisory Council).
Here’s wishing you a wonderful 2017!!
Happy New Year 2017!
Holly Emert, Ph.D.
SIETAR USA President
We were approached by the HR department of a global company considering us to deliver intercultural assessment and training for their expatriates. They wanted to begin with a pilot assessment. We explained that this should be done for one or more candidates being considered for international assignments, but they wanted to do it with a family currently on assignment in Asia (both the husband and wife work for the company). We reluctantly agreed. The assessment discovered many serious, negative issues and a high potential for failure and even dangerous health problems. The two employees and their two young children all have serious food allergies. The wife/employee scored very low on the assessment instrument and reported that the company had not treated her fairly and that she “hated this assignment”. These results were reported to the company. We presented and discussed a package of support services that would help to resolve these issues and perhaps avoid failure.
After some internal discussion with their legal and medical departments, they informed us that they did not want to go forward with the support services. They explained that they did not want to acknowledge this expatriate family’s situation because the company might be at risk if things did not work out so well.
Following this episode, the company came back to us to work out an agreement to go forward with their future intercultural assessment and training. This was a significant opportunity for future work and revenue.
What provision(s) of the Living Code apply in this Incident?:
What should be done?
Turn down the opportunity, explaining that ethical commitments do not allow working in this way?
Agree to go forward, but try to get a commitment to implement follow-on support when assessments show that it is needed?
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