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Professor Tung's Seminar

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News created: 29 Sep 2011

Why are less than 20% of women sent on international assignments?

With an increasing female presence in top management, MBA courses and in PhD programs, Professor Rosalie Tung addressed this issue at a seminar based on "The Complexity of doing business in Asia - dispelling the myth of women in international assignments".

The seminar, hosted by the Department of Marketing and Management, raised interesting questions about gender inequality, perceptions and organisations' role in the level of participation of women in international assignments.

Professor Tung is a renowned international expert, and has been conducting significant research in this area with a focus on dispelling myths often associated with low participation of women in international assignments. These being:

  • Women don't want international assignments due to family considerations
  • Foreign countries don't want female expatriates
  • Women don't have the competencies/ skills to succeed.

Professor Tung's research shows women are more willing to accept overseas assignments even when facing family objections and are better able to cope with the isolation than their male counterparts.

The statement "foreign countries don't want female expatriates" is too simple, and that host country ethnocentrism also plays an important roles in the success of the assignment.

Adding to this, she found "no difference between men and women in terms of supervisor rated performance and early-return."

Professor Tung believes that organisations can overcome these myths by providing continued training and support, and continuing to be fully aware of all the challenges.

About Professor Rosalie Tung

Rosalie L. Tung is Professor of International Business at Simon Fraser University (Canada). She holds the Ming and Stella Wong Chaired Professorship and has served on the faculties of the Wharton School (University of Pennsylvania) and as a visiting professor at Harvard University and University of California - Los Angeles.

Professor Tung has served on the Executive Committee of the Academy of Management, including the position of President. She has been inducted as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and is the Editor of prestigious journals, where she has also published influential work with a high impact in academia and practice. She has served on the United Nations Task Force on Human Resource Management.

Read Professor Tung's paper on 'Do Race and Gender Matter In International Assignments To/From Asia Pacific?'

Seminar Photos


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