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International assignments and gender

International assignments and gender

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The business world of today looks considerably different than twenty years ago; companies used to compete domestically, but the number of organizations that continues to do so becomes very scarce. Globalization forces organizations to expand their boundaries and look for new markets. Because of this relatively new phenomenon, more and more companies are sending their employees on international assignments. Traditionally, these expatriates have been men. Despite the need and rise of deployment of expatriates, the number of women in such positions remains low (2-15%). However, if companies want to keep on sending their best and most qualified staff, they cannot rely primarily on men anymore. The increasing demand for expatriates can be met by deploying more women. However, statistical figures show that this is not so easy in practice. This thesis clarifies possible explanations for the scarcity of females on international assignments and researches the ambition of both males and females to pursue an international career. Therefore, this research would be of particular interest for both individuals with international ambitions as well as companies that are sending individuals abroad.
What are possible explanations for the scarcity of females in international assignments?