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Women are more distinctly adverse to working in certain locations which may be deemed unfavourable.
Women are 19% less likely than males to perceive equal opportunities to work overseas with their employer.
A greater proportion of female professionals, compared to male professionals, believe that they have to work harder than other expatriates to achieve the same success – 23% of females versus 8% males.
When the process for repatriation is not certain, those with stronger informal networks are likely to negotiate a better expat package or support. Uncertainty in repatriation can be eradicated with a good support system or “sponsor” in the company.
A Pw C employee who was repatriated cited having a sponsor/partner/role model in the company as “solidifying her positive experience” in being seconded overseas.
Although females have shown interest in overseas assignments, companies often assume that women with families would not wish to move to a foreign country.
However, a Pw C study has shown that in fact, a consistent and significant proportion of both women and men who would like to work overseas were parents – 41% of women who expressed interest were mothers, while 40% of men who would say yes to working overseas were fathers.Robust demand from women to work overseas has not translated to a proportionate number of female international assignees.In this article, we will explore why gender disparity in international assignment exists.These beliefs, being more present in females than males, would result in qualified females self-eliminating themselves from selection and relinquishing overseas job opportunities to men, contributing to the gender disparity.Another factor resulting in women being less likely to take up an overseas assignment would be uncertainty or fear when being repatriated to their home country.However, the Pw C study revealed that 82% of female respondents in a relationship were in a dual income couple, with majority (77%) earning equal to or more than their partner.While it would make financial sense for the couple to relocate overseas (should the opportunity present itself to the higher earning female in the relationship), this has not translated to reality, given that most international assignees are male.In our next article, we will explore the changing phenomenon regarding trailing spouses and its impact on gender diversity.While there is substantial demand from women to work overseas, this is not necessarily accommodated by the mobility strategies deployed by companies.The Pw C study revealed that inadequate role models may result in females declining an international secondment – 28.2% of female respondents had cited lack of role models, compared to 11.5% of males.This may also result in a vicious cycle when it comes to female employee’s perceptions of overseas assignments – females choosing not to go overseas as they have not observed similar female leaders doing so, diminishing the number of female assignees.