Research shows that an increasing number of women are choosing assignments abroad as a way of fast-tracking their careers.

Results also show that more women are working overseas within management positions.

Internations – the global expat networking organisation – found that 17.8% of the British women that it surveyed were working in management positions abroad during 2015. That’s a 4% increase compared with the 2014 result.

International assignments are still dominated by men. Research from Cigna Global Health Benefits highlighted the largest group of people who work outside of their home county… 81% are male, middle aged and have a family. But – there is a growing number of assignees who are female.

Yelena Mackay wrote “Moving Without Shaking”, a book aimed at women who want to achieve a successful expat life. Mackay says: “Back in the Eighties a typical expat was a male taking his wife and children with him. These days it’s single women under 30 or sometimes those taking their boyfriend with them.

“I think this is one of the best ways to advance women’s careers. It gives so many new options – you start learning languages, being more culturally flexible and less afraid of taking chances.

“You have to get out of your comfort zone. Once you have gone away and pursued these new opportunities then you have the chance to come back home and have a more exciting international role if you want.”

Data from Internations shows that most female international assignees are single, and that fewer than 40% have children. Many young professional women see foreign assignments as part of their career development.

Courtney Ellis-Jones of the Forum for Expatriate Management says that women should have a more balanced view of working overseas. She say: “Being an expatriate is often seen as glamorous to those who have not experienced the life, but it can often be frustrating, difficult and lonely. People who succeed in international assignments demonstrate to the business they are able to problem-solve and overcome barriers to success.

“The positives are vast, both professionally and personally. The chance to experience a new culture is a rich and rewarding one. Broadening your horizons to the way people work and interact develops a more passionate and sympathetic employee, which leads to better management.”

BTR International moves assignees between different countries across the globe. Kevin Wieczorek, Sales & Marketing Director of BTR International says: “We have notices that an increasing number of women are taking international roles. We appreciate that moving abroad offers exciting opportunities and challenges. Our range of support is tailored to the individual, the organisation and the country involved so that international relocations are as stress-free as possible.”

If you would like to discuss how your employees are supported with their international assignments, contact Kevin or call +44 (0) 1582 495495.

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