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Towards an understanding of the female expatriate experience in Europe

Linehan, M. and Scullion, H. (2005) Towards an understanding of the female expatriate experience in Europe. Human Resource Management Review, 4 (14). pp. 1-14. ISSN 1053-4822

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Abstract

The increased participation of women in the workforce has been one of the major changes in the structuring of the labour force in recent years, and it is anticipated that this trend will continue. Despite growing numbers of women in senior domestic management roles, the participation rates of women in international management remains low across the globe. In Europe, international management has generally been a masculine preserve. Much of our knowledge of female expatriation comes from North America and is based on the experiences of female managers working for North American MNCs. This article builds on that base of understanding but highlights a growing stream of research into female expatriation in Europe, which remains largely "invisible" to specialists outside Europe. Given the paucity of empirical research in this area in general and the need for a more international understanding of the phenomena which can arise from examining different contexts, the article suggests that researchers outside Europe may find useful insights in this paper which pulls together and summarises what we know from the existing research on female expatriates in Europe and offers some avenues for future research.