Women are 19 percent less likely than men to believe the opportunities for international mobility with their current employer are equal for men and women, a global survey sponsored by PricewaterhouseCoopers showed.
In China and Hong Kong, however, that gap is reduced to 10 percent, suggesting women are more optimistic about their employer’s global mobility system compared to global standards, according to the PwC report, “Modern mobility: Moving women with purpose”.
The findings of the survey were released on Tuesday to mark International Women’s Day.
The opportunities for an international experience feature high on the list of desirable employer traits.
About 75 percent of females in China and Hong Kong rated this highly as attractive traits and similarly, 74 percent said it was a driving factor in keeping them with an employer.
This sentiment is especially strong among women in China than in Hong Kong.
– 70 percent of respondents (women and men) said the best time to complete a mobility experience is in the first six years of a career. However, 33 percent of organizations don’t currently offer early mobility opportunities.
– 84 percent of females would like opportunities to work overseas to be more transparent at the companies they work for, 19 percent higher than the global finding at 65 percent.
– 62 percent of respondents (women and men) said they prefer long-term assignments of up to five years, while 5 percent more women (35 percent) prefer short-term assignments.
– 13 percent more women prefer frequent business travel (33 percent) than men.
The preferred assignment destinations for professionals often don’t match what’s on offer, the report said.
About 58 percent of women and 39 percent of men said they would never relocate to the Middle East.
Meanwhile, 63 percent of women and 38 percent of men said the same about Africa.
The report highlights that we are experiencing a time of unprecedented female demand for mobility, but this demand is not yet reflected in reality.
More than half (57 percent) of global mobility executives said their female employees were underrepresented in their mobility populations.
And while 60 percent of multinationals are using mobility to develop their succession pipeline of future leaders, only 22 percent are actively trying to increase their levels of female mobility.
Furthermore, only the same low percentage of global mobility leaders said their mobility and diversity strategies are aligned.
Xing Zhou, PwC China and Hong Kong diversity leader and China insurance leader, said: “This PwC report highlights a number of critical diversity disconnects. CEOs must drive an agenda where women are both aware of, and provided with, the critical experiences required to progress their career, including international assignment opportunities.
“Global mobility, diversity and talent management strategies must be connected to support the successful realization of international business and people strategies.”
A total of 3,937 professionals from 40 countries were interviewed in the survey.
Of the respondents, 170 were from China and Hong Kong, including 109 women and 61 men.
Also, 134 executives with responsibility for global mobility were interviewed.
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