Keywords: women, international assignments, IAs, expatriates, participation rates, conceptual modelling, facilitators, barriers, female participation
Shattering the glass border: the factors that are related to women participating in international assignments
The literature on women's participation in international assignments (IAs) is reviewed and it finds that women are still underrepresented in IAs, despite decades of equal opportunity legislation. This paper classifies the past research into macro, organisational, interpersonal and individual factors, and finds that all of them either provide facilitators or barriers for women's participation in IAs. Macro factors include increased globalisation, and acceptance of women in foreign cultures. Organisational factors include contextual factors such as organisational size, industry, open and formal recruitment, and supportive organisational policies. Interpersonal factors include manager's support, mentoring, networking and women's membership of in–groups. A range of individual factors are also explored and these include barriers according to age, marital and dual–career status. This paper develops a conceptual model for women's participation in IAs, and concludes by offering suggestions for future research.