There is a consensus that female expatriates experience higher levels of workplace discrimination and harassment than male expatriates.
Professor Dr Benjamin Bader says that exclusion from social activities and insults in the workplace is common, even in multinational businesses.
There is a demand and need for fairer recruitment and hiring practices as well as internal company culture. International companies and global hiring companies need to be aware of fair procedures. These include less discrimination over gender, race, marital status or even if the woman is a single parent.
Female expatriates find it more challenging in countries like Pakistan, African nations, and some parts of the middle east have recorded levels of female discrimination in the workplace. However, countries like Iceland, New Zealand and Sweden are among the top-performing nations for expatriate equality in hiring and overall work satisfaction.
As we move forward, there are ever-changing global landscapes, encouraging company HR departments to look at their structure and higher demand to inform and educate women on what skills will be advantageous for future career progression or shift. Within the global mobility landscape, a definite gender disparity is caused by several factors, such as unconscious bias during hiring selection, lack of a supportive framework for female expatriates, or lack of women applying for international jobs.
These barriers hinder both businesses and women looking for employment. People need to take action to train, hire and include female expats in the global workforce, regardless of industry or sector.
The internal structure of a multinational company needs to look at its framework and how it can support women by looking at what the expat family unit needs, adopting an inclusive company culture from top to bottom, as well as seeking out talent and advertising jobs or training programs geared explicitly at women.
As the global mobility landscape evolves, short and long-term empowerment of the female workforce will benefit both employers and international business environments, which are in constant flow and change. Women could become your most valuable asset with diverse and varying skills that propel growth. Many people in business look for competencies such as empathy and complexity of relationship skills where women excel.
For all female expats out there, do not shy away from a company that may have an intimidating reputation, seek out ways to skill up or better your leadership skills.
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