What do we really know about corporate career women expatriates?

Susan Shortland, Yochanan Altman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Despite a significant and increasing volume of literature on women's expatriate corporate careers, our understanding of this field is patchy. We know that women expatriates adjust and perform well, despite the challenges that they face in selection and deployment, during the assignment and on repatriation. We also know that, despite their success, female expatriates meet their career goals less frequently than do men. Yet, our knowledge is limited by the absence of coherent detail and due to methodological deficiency. Thus, we do not have the full profiles of women who undertake international careers, what motivates them, or their career cycles. And there is significant inconsistency in the theoretical lenses used, the reporting protocol employed and considerable lack of comparable and sufficiently large samples and longitudinal studies. Through a detailed and thorough examination of the contents and context of women's expatriate career literature to date, we draw out key benchmarks and posit recommendations to improve on our current patchwork of knowledge.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209-234
Number of pages26
JournalEuropean Journal of International Management
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Corporate careers
  • Expatriates
  • Gender
  • International assignments
  • International management
  • Women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Education
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management

Cite this