- A Boston Consulting Group (BCG) study found that 55% of women would work overseas. However, less than a third have done so, compared with 40% of men in a similar situation. BCG says working abroad prepares people for leadership roles in today’s global job market.
- The study also shows that having children isn’t a deterrent to women working overseas; 44% of women with children in the study said they would do so if they had the chance.
- Claire Tracey, BCG partner, and the report’s co-author, said, “[International assignments] give [employees] a holistic picture of an organization’s total operations, making them great candidates for future leadership roles.”
The BCG report confirms that the gender gap in employment, and in this case, the global job market, persists. One roadblock for women workers generally has been the "motherhood penalty" — the assumption that motherhood jeopardizes their chances for advancement.
For professional women of color, the roadblock often has been the assumption — unconscious or otherwise — that their skills, knowledge and experience are inadequate, especially on a global level.
The gender gap often fuels the pay gap between women and men workers. When segments of the workforce are denied opportunities, or relegated to lower-level, lower-paid positions, closing the pay gap remains challenging.
Companies that routinely recruit for overseas positions will need to have a strong grasp of those traits which experts say prepare candidates for expatriate and international roles. They include mental/emotional stability, sensitivity to other cultures and above average interpersonal skills.