Summary of Worldly Women

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Increased globalization, a worldwide talent shortage and a general acknowledgment of the need to develop more female executives combine to create new opportunities for women pursuing international leadership roles. “Your time is now,” say international HR professionals and authors Sapna Welsh and Caroline Kersten. Not only is the glass ceiling breaking, international “glass borders” are showing some cracks as well. Basing their global leadership model for women on in-depth interviews with 62 “Women in Senior-level Expatriate Roles” (WiSERs), Welsh and Kersten identify the barriers to expatriate assignments and offer strategies for succeeding in overseas jobs. Although the authors’ persistent reliance on statistics makes for occasionally tedious reading, they include enough in-her-own-words case studies to hold your interest. getAbstract recommends their advice to professional women who are considering an expatriate assignment or are about to leap into one. Bon voyage.

About the Authors

Sapna Welsh and Caroline Kersten, founder of Kersten HR Consulting, are co-partners in Leverage HR, LLC, an international career coaching and counseling firm.



Why Women?

As technology erases borders and companies embrace globalization, the executive world is experiencing a scarcity of talent. Several factors contribute to this shortage. Developed countries suffer an aging workforce and dropping birthrates. High-growth economies in Brazil, Russia, India and China vacuum up more and more workers. Additionally, access to education is uneven, and many laborers lack the skills that employers seek. Expatriation is one solution. Many companies report a steady increase in executive-level international assignments over the past several years. An expatriate, or expat, is anyone who leaves a “home country to live and work in another country for an extended period of time,” generally a year or more.

Companies need to station executives overseas to be competitive in the global arena. Employees with a global mind-set – that is, the ability to navigate foreign cultures, adapt and get results – are increasingly valuable. International experience is becoming a vital prerequisite for global leadership and corporate advancement. However, the talent pool for international positions is shallow, and women are significantly underrepresented, with...

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