Gender discrimination and expatriates – how far have we come?

According to the World Economic Forum’s 2017 Global Gender Gap Report (WEF, 2017), given the current rate of change, it will take an incredible 217 more years to achieve gender equality.

Assignments without (glass) borders

So where do expatriates stand today? To find out, the RES Forum asked two academics, Professor Benjamin Bader and Katherina Schulz from Leuphana University in Germany to investigate. Their paper, titled ‘Gender Discrimination and Expatriates – Assignments without (Glass) Borders. How far have we come?’ has been published in the latest Quarterly Report by the RES Forum.

Multi-dimensional view

“The subject of discrimination against female expatriates has not been investigated in great detail to date,” the two researchers write in the introduction. “To enable us to gain a full understanding of gender discrimination against female expatriates within MNCs, we surveyed both expatriates about their own personal experiences, as well as Global Mobility professionals working within MNCs, allowing us to gain a multi-dimensional view of the issues that women face today.”

Practical action steps

The concise 22-page report features expert opinion from Steve Asher, Director of Global Mobility at Gateley Plc, and Trevor Janes, Vice President, Business Development at SIRVA Worldwide Relocation and Moving. The report also has discussions of discrimination in and out of the workplace and an analysis of coping strategies and company policies. Most importantly, the paper provides practical action steps that organisations can take to tackle gender discrimination to make positive change for the future, hopefully doing its bit to reduce that 217-year wait.

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