Working Overseas Helps Women Achieve Career Success Quicker

jworking overseas Listen up ladies! If you want to break through the glass ceiling sooner, consider working for awhile in a foreign country. In a recent survey of successful, professional women, 100 percent say they would recommend working abroad to others.

Granted, 91 percent of the women surveyed are already working abroad or looking to do so, according to a study called the Global Professionals on the Move Report 2011 -- which was commissioned by the Hydrogen Group, a recruiting firm. Still, the opinions of those who have been there and done that, can't help but be useful.

They say that working overseas is generally an extremely positive experience, with the vast majority of respondents reporting that it has improved their career prospects, salaries, living conditions and personal development. A full 93 percent who have worked overseas say they would do it again in a heartbeat.

When it comes to employers themselves, 63 percent saying international experience was important to their company.

Emma Halls, director of Hydrogen ANZ, says that her clients are increasingly requesting women with international experience, with banks leading the way. "With gender diversity at the forefront of our clients' minds, women with international experience will see their CVs fast-tracked through to interview," she says.

Unfortunately, however, Hydrogen's research also shows that not enough women, in comparison to men, are getting overseas experience. Men outnumber women four to one in working abroad, although women do express a willingness to relocate almost as much as men -- 41 percent of women, compared to 46 percent of men.

The report also reveals women who work overseas tend to be based closer to home than their male counterparts, and are more eager to return home rather than stay overseas when it comes to their next career move. While women and men were equally satisfied with working abroad, women were less satisfied than men regarding pay; 84 percent of men said moving abroad had improved their salary, only 74 percent of women reported the same. Similarly, 78 percent of men said their living conditions had improved, while that was the case for only 68 percent of women.

Claudia Jonczyk of ESCP Europe believes the findings resonate with much that is already known about the root causes of too few women in top positions. "It has been repeatedly shown that women face particular hurdles on the way to the top that men simply don't have to face," she says. "The ones that do choose to work abroad are helping to break down the traditional barriers and having an enjoyable experience at the same time."

Next: Interested in Working Overseas? 3 Work Abroad Programs with Good Pay.

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Stacie berdan

Women do well overseas -- in fact some studies suggest 18% better than men. Women can fast-track their careers by an international stint: I did it (tripled my salary and jumped three levels ins eniority), and so have thousands of other women around the world -- NOT just Americans. I wrote about in my book Get Ahead By Going Abroad. I did similar research in 2007 and found that 85%% of women interviewed (around the world) agreed they had advanced BECAUSE of their time overseas. Glad to see another completely independent study concurs. Yes, be cautious but the world is a very large place filled with interesting people and exciting opportunities. See my piece on the Huffington Post to be published today. Go Global, women! stacieberdan(dot)com

March 08 2011 at 6:24 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Where does it say in the article anything about Islam? It says overseas. That could be Great Britain, Spain, Japan, anywhere around the world. I think it is a sad state for women in this country that they can get further ahead in the business world outside of the United States than here at home. Women still make 80 cents on the dollar for the same job as a man. There are more women in government in Third World countries that in our own Congress. Now, Republicans are trying to create more anti-women policies. Cutting WIC for young, poor mothers, trying to control our reproductive rights. Now, we can't even get ahead in American companies. How sad.

March 07 2011 at 5:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Mish's comment

Mish: By bringing up Muslim women I didn't mean to steer the talk away from the real topic--it's just that islam has been in the news so much lately it seemed like an obvious fit. I agree with you that the majority of countries where American women might work are decent, peaceful locations.

March 07 2011 at 10:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The "glass ceiling" is a big fat lie. On the contrary, companies are in such a lather to bow to the god of "diversity" they recruit, hire and promote non-white males almost without regard for qualification or ability. Just ask Carly Fiorina.

March 07 2011 at 5:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

How could anyone believe this? Women are treated badly over seas and are more apt to be assaulted because of the general view of woman and human rights!

March 07 2011 at 3:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to jaba's comment

I would stay away from on-the-street news reporting in Cairo, or for that matter, most places.

March 07 2011 at 5:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I lived and worked in Germany as an HR Recruiter and I never had any problems whatsoever...your comment is ignorant!

March 07 2011 at 5:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tuula Westra

Yes indeed, working in foreign countries will open up our eyes enough not to make idiotic comments about anything/anybody. That is why I have lived and worked in several countries, France, Greece and the islands, Spain, Italy the UK which I call home, and Morocco. 2 times in the USA, NYC and Florida. I speak 4 languages fluently, yes please you may test me on those.

March 07 2011 at 3:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


March 07 2011 at 2:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to BOB's comment

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