Mobility - June 2020 - 34

O

ur world is becoming more
accepting of diversity and inclusiveness. But in mobility, one area
is still lagging, and that's gender
diversity.
When I learned that only 15% to 20% of international assignees are women, I was stunned, puzzled,
and surprised, especially in 2020, when, now more
than ever, women are holding leadership positions in
a wide array of industries.
I wanted to dig deeper and learn why women are so
underrepresented when it comes to going on assignments. Is this a matter of unconscious bias, reluctance to
accept assignments when they are offered, or something
else entirely? Are companies even aware of this, and are
they doing anything to increase the number of women
on assignment? And if so, what?
In the annual Weichert Talent Survey, we asked our
colleagues whether they'd be interested in going on
an assignment and found that approximately 20%
of women responded positively. While that number
is a little higher than the industry average of 14%
that was reported in Mercer's 2017 edition of the
Worldwide Survey of International Assignment Policies
and Practices, it still has room for improvement. And
it brought up more questions: Is it just that our colleagues love where they work? Or does it highlight a
broader issue within business-that women are more
hesitant to go on an assignment than men?
Next, I interviewed corporate mobility professionals around the world and found that 22% of women
at their companies are going on assignment. So, I
thought, OK, a little higher number here, but still,
why so low?
Noting the lyrics of Beyoncé's song "Run the
World (Girls)," it seems surprising that women are
avoiding opportunities to advance not just their
careers but their life experiences. So, I dug deeper
into why women are not raising their hands to relocate, why they wouldn't want to take their career
to another level with a move, what's holding them
back, and what would entice them to take on an
opportunity to relocate.
CULTURE, FAMILY, AND CAREER
Michelle Douglas, manager of global mobility for
Walmart Canada, feels two variables-cultural shift

34 Mobility | June 2020

"Developing women's careers
is something that HR and
talent management personnel
need to focus more on if we
want to see women put their
hands up for assignments,
promotions, and other things."
- Mala Cornell, CPP Investment Board

and family dynamics-are preventing some women
from going on an assignment.
Walmart Canada has several women on assignment right now, and Douglas believes that these
women, who are working overseas and taking on
diverse leadership roles, can serve as role models and
inspire other women to do the same.
But add in family dynamics, and it becomes a
larger issue around a woman's willingness to transplant her family. "Family is a huge part in the assignment [experience]," says Douglas. "As I think about
some of the women whom we do have on assignment
right now, they are women with small to midsize
families. For these women to accept a new role was
very much contingent on the comfort level of their
family moving into the host country."
Mala Cornell, manager of global mobility for CPP
Investment Board, says that being more vocal about
career development opportunities could increase
the number of female assignees. Cornell feels that
women-in Canada, at least-aren't as apt to raise
their hands, assuming that if their manager thought it
was a good idea, he or she would approach them.
"If you're heads-down, too busy getting work
done-and not really talking to other groups or finding out what is happening on a global scale, which
requires a lot of discussion, not just email-you're not
going to hear about these opportunities and have the
chance to put your hand up for them. I think we can
do better. Developing women's careers is something
that HR and talent management personnel need to
focus more on if we want to see women put their



Mobility - June 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Mobility - June 2020

Mobility - June 2020 - Cover1
Mobility - June 2020 - Cover2
Mobility - June 2020 - 1
Mobility - June 2020 - 2
Mobility - June 2020 - 3
Mobility - June 2020 - 4
Mobility - June 2020 - 5
Mobility - June 2020 - 6
Mobility - June 2020 - 7
Mobility - June 2020 - 8
Mobility - June 2020 - 9
Mobility - June 2020 - 10
Mobility - June 2020 - 11
Mobility - June 2020 - 12
Mobility - June 2020 - 13
Mobility - June 2020 - 14
Mobility - June 2020 - 15
Mobility - June 2020 - 16
Mobility - June 2020 - 17
Mobility - June 2020 - 18
Mobility - June 2020 - 19
Mobility - June 2020 - 20
Mobility - June 2020 - 21
Mobility - June 2020 - 22
Mobility - June 2020 - 23
Mobility - June 2020 - 24
Mobility - June 2020 - 25
Mobility - June 2020 - 26
Mobility - June 2020 - 27
Mobility - June 2020 - 28
Mobility - June 2020 - 29
Mobility - June 2020 - 30
Mobility - June 2020 - 31
Mobility - June 2020 - 32
Mobility - June 2020 - 33
Mobility - June 2020 - 34
Mobility - June 2020 - 35
Mobility - June 2020 - 36
Mobility - June 2020 - 37
Mobility - June 2020 - 38
Mobility - June 2020 - 39
Mobility - June 2020 - 40
Mobility - June 2020 - 41
Mobility - June 2020 - 42
Mobility - June 2020 - 43
Mobility - June 2020 - 44
Mobility - June 2020 - 45
Mobility - June 2020 - 46
Mobility - June 2020 - 47
Mobility - June 2020 - 48
Mobility - June 2020 - 49
Mobility - June 2020 - 50
Mobility - June 2020 - 51
Mobility - June 2020 - 52
Mobility - June 2020 - 53
Mobility - June 2020 - 54
Mobility - June 2020 - 55
Mobility - June 2020 - 56
Mobility - June 2020 - 57
Mobility - June 2020 - 58
Mobility - June 2020 - 59
Mobility - June 2020 - 60
Mobility - June 2020 - Cover3
Mobility - June 2020 - Cover4
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility-june-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility-may-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility-april-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility-march-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility-february-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_122020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_112020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_102020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_092020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_082020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_072020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_062020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_052020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_042020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_032020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_022020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_012020
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_122019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_112019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_102019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_092019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_082019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_072019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_062019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_052019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_042019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_032019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_022019
https://www.nxtbook.com/ygsreprints/WERC/mobility_012019
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com