Too few women are working abroad compared with men despite being equally keen to go, according to new research into global mobility among high-achieving professionals. The research was commissioned by the specialist recruitment company Hydrogen Group and conducted by ESCP Europe. It highlights international experience as a significant advantage to climbing the career ladder for any senior manager in today’s global marketplace, but men still outnumber women four to one in making this move.
The Global Professionals on the Move Report 2011 also reveals women who work overseas tend to be based closer to home than their male counterparts, and are keen to return home rather than stay overseas when it comes to their next career move.
The second annual report, released today, analyzes responses from 2,637 professionals with qualifications of a bachelor degree or above, with the majority of respondents – 91% – already working abroad or looking to do so. The survey offers unique insights into the experiences, attitudes, motivations and priorities of highly qualified, high earning, professionals from around the world on working overseas.
It also highlights the extent to which international experience is important not just to individuals, but to companies, with 63% saying international experience was important to their company.
Commenting on the findings, Hydrogen Group’s Chief Executive Officer, Tim Smeaton, says: “The debate about the barriers to women’s career progress has focused on issues such as flexible working and male-dominated boardrooms. This research aims to highlight the impact of international experience, which further affects their ability to climb the corporate ladder.”
He continues: “Hydrogen is seeing an increase in the number of employers seeking highly qualified senior women. From partnering with many large banking groups, we’ve found diversity has become a key theme when finding them the best talent. They want to close the diversity gaps existing in their workplace to accurately reflect the globalization of their business. Many of our clients now approach us to help them find highly qualified professionals of different genders, races and ages.”
Among the gender-based findings of the report:
Commenting on the research, Smeaton added: “We produce the report to determine shifts in candidate perceptions of overseas working. We envisage global mobility will play a greater role in people’s career decisions moving forward and have moved 40 of our own employees around our global offices in the last 18 months, so we understand the issues faced by both our candidates and clients when advising them about relocation.”