Developing Female Leaders: Addressing Gender Bias in Global Mobility

In many global organisations, international experience is viewed as a pre-requisite for executive and leadership roles. With just one in four outbound expatriates from Australia being female, organisations may unintentionally be limiting the progression of their high potential female employees. By exploring and addressing the barriers to female mobility, there is an opportunity to enhance both individual careers and organisational performance. 

A year-long joint research project between PwC Australia and Melbourne University’s Centre for Ethical Leadership (CEL) has explored this issue in depth. Using data from interviews with Human Resources leaders, online surveys of both female and male assignees, academic literature reviews and PwC’s expatriate tax client base, a number of “hotspots” for gender bias in the assignment lifecycle have been identified. In this report we explore those bias hotspots, and provide seven strategies organisations can employ to increase female participation in global mobility programs. Organisations which are ready to take active steps to increase female participation in global mobility stand to benefit from developing and retaining female talent, and the positive impact this will have on diversity of their future leadership teams.
 
With the diversity agenda in global mobility lagging so far behind the progress made in other aspects of diversity in recent years, there is a pressing need for change.

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