Personal characteristics of female vs male business expatriates

Jan Selmer*, Alicia S M Leung

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

    56 Citations (Scopus)


    Although there has been a rapidly increasing literature on women in international assignments, very little is known about their specific personal characteristics. To rectify this shortcoming, a large-scale mail survey to female and male business expatriates in Hong Kong made a direct comparison of their personal characteristics. Results showed that the women were younger than the men. Controlling for inter-group age differences, despite the fact that there were no gender differences in corporate tenure and expatriate experiences, the female expatriates were found to occupy lower hierarchical positions than their male counterparts. Women on foreign assignment were also less frequently married than their male colleagues. Implications for assigning organizations and future research are discussed.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)195-212
    Number of pages18
    JournalInternational Journal of Cross Cultural Management
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2003

    Scopus Subject Areas

    • Business and International Management
    • Cultural Studies
    • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
    • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management

    User-Defined Keywords

    • Female expatriates
    • Male expatriates
    • Personal characteristics


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