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IHRM: Cross Cultural Gender Issues IBUS618. By Felix Castuera Greta Van Everen Fan Yang Suguru Nakamura Omar Brodrick. Focus Areas. Felix- Women Expatriates vs. Men Expatriates Greta- The Netherlands

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ihrm cross cultural gender issues ibus618

IHRM: Cross Cultural Gender IssuesIBUS618


Felix Castuera

Greta Van Everen

Fan Yang

Suguru Nakamura

Omar Brodrick

focus areas
Focus Areas
  • Felix- Women Expatriates vs. Men Expatriates
  • Greta- The Netherlands
  • Fan Yang and Suguru Nakamura- Japan
  • Omar- Women Expatriates: A Roadmap to Success
advantages of women expatriates
Advantages of Women Expatriates
  • Accustomed to operating in a system in which the majority of power is held by men
  • Personal characters that enabled them to function in an unfamiliar environment
    • Open minded, outgoing, flexible and adaptable, positive outlook on life, consensus-building, relationship orientation, and greater sensitivity to non verbal cues
Demographic Characteristics of Women ExpatriatesSource: International Journal of Human Resource Management
Position, Industry Characteristics, and Problems Encounteredby Women ExpatriateSource: International Journal of Human Resource
stereotypes of woman expatriates source runzheimer int l report
Stereotypes of Woman ExpatriatesSource: Runzheimer Int’l Report
  • Overseas local males will treat females very much like they treat local females?
    • Local males do not mentally classify a foreign woman in the same way as they classify local women
    • Expatriate professional females have an advantage in being at first outside the local normal classification system
    • Newly arrived female expatriates looks, acts, and think in unique ways, thus, local male co-workers can’t or won’t fit her into their usual mental classification of “local female” co-workers
  • So, woman expatriate is free to build a unique classification for herself in the mind of local people
  • Local male co-workers might create performance barriers for the female expatriates?
    • Many women who encounter significant barriers are more likely to complain about their fellow expatriate male co-workers
    • American men erect the highest barriers because of their mentality remains grounded in the U.S.
advantages of american female expatriates
Advantages of American Female Expatriates
  • Accustomed to operating in male dominated environment
  • Learned to attain their goals through
    • Influence
    • Collaboration
    • Sensitivity to the points of view of others
liabilities for american woman expatriates
Liabilities for American Woman Expatriates
  • Being Single
    • both local people and fellow expatriates often don’t know how to comfortably fit a single person into their social lives especially women
  • Being Young
    • Tradition and wisdom associated with age is more valued in non-western cultures
    • American companies have the tendency to send young managers abroad
    • It makes other cultures uncomfortable and resistant
    • Expect seniority in rank is closely linked to with seniority in age
  • Being Americans
    • U.S. business culture
    • Task orientation, time oriented, competitiveness, and directness
tips for women expatriates
Tips for Women Expatriates
  • Go for it
  • Be assertive, persistent, proactive
  • Ask for what you need and want
  • Find a female mentor
  • Use your resources
  • Negotiate carefully before accepting anything
  • Assess the workload before hand
  • Do your own research
  • Learn the local language
  • Be yourself and
  • Enjoy!


Suguru Nakamura

Fan Yang

  • Location: Eastern Asia, island chain between the North Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Japan, east of the Korean Peninsula
  • Main islands: Honshu, Hokkaido, Kyushu, and Shikoku.
  • Capital: Tokyo


  • Type : Constitutional monarchy with parliamentary government
  • Prime minister : Junichiro Koizumi since 2001
  • Legal system : modeled after European civil law system with English-American influence


  • Total population


  • Age structure

0-4 years: 14.3%

15-64 years: 66.7%

65 years and over: 19%

  • Major religion

Shinto and Buddhist 84%

Other 16%

  • Ethnic group

Japanese 99%

Other 1%


  • Monetary unit : Yen
  • GDP : $3.582 trillion
  • GDP real growth rate is 2.7%
  • Unemployment rate : 5.3%
  • labor force : 66.66 million people

(occupation : agriculture 5%, industry 25%, and services 70%)


social background
Social Background
  • High Masculinity Society:

full-time housewife increases household stability.

  • Aging Society:
    • 25% of population are over 60
    • Traditionally, female are expected

to be responsible for children and elders.

(Kimoto, K. “LaborConditions for Women in Contemporary Japan”)

working conditions
Working conditions
  • Average monthly salaries : 300,000 to 500,000 JPY ($2,560 to $4,270 USD)
  • Japan also has a bonus system, which is a major part of the salary structure.
  • Japanese companies are required to register all employees on a group medical plan with the Japanese health care system.
female economic condition
Female Economic Condition
  • Labor force participation Rate:

Japan - 46%

U.S. - 60%

U.K. - 55%

  • 40.2 % are part-time employees
  • Female earnings is only 64.9% of male’s
  • Below the standards of developed nations
corporate background
Corporate Background
  • Two Careers Tracks
  • Employment Duration Differences
labor force participation rate
Labor Force Participation Rate
  • Percentage of working-age


employed (15 years or over)

(ILO: Key Indicators of the Labor Market 2003)

corporate background22
Corporate Background

Managerial Track

Wage Increase

Lifetime Employment



corporate background23
Corporate Background


Clerical Works

Expected to Leave before 30

No Promotion


regulation background
Regulation Background
  • Ineffective EEOL (1985):

Promoted equality, yet did not “forbid” discrimination.

  • Tax Deduction:

Income Tax & Residential Tax deduction, if spouse’s salary is limited.

part time workers
Part-Time Workers
  • Part-time employment as a percent of total employment

(ILO: Key Indicators of the Labor Market 2003)

of female part time employment by nation
% of Female Part-time Employment by nation

UN Statistics Division. http://unstats.un.org/unsd/default.htm

changing situation
Changing Situation
  • Reduction in life time employment:

Increasing job mobility.

  • EEOL Amendment in 1997:

Aggressively Prohibit gender discrimination.

  • Decreasing Full-time housewife population:

Full-time housewife is now minority.

the netherlands

The Netherlands

Greta Van Everen

the netherlands general overview
Capital: Amsterdam

Government type: constitutional monarchy

PM: Jan Peter Balkenende

Queen Beatrix

Language: Dutch, Frisian

Currency: EURO €

1 € = $ 1.28

Population: 16,318,199

(July 2004 est.)

The Netherlands: General Overview


population characteristics
Population Characteristics
  • Amsterdam (735,328), Capital;
  • Rotterdam (593,321), the leading seaport;
  • The Hague (440,900), the seat of government;
  • Utrecht (234,323), a transport and services hub.

Encarta: http://encarta.msn.com/text_761572410___0/Netherlands.html

labor force
Labor Force
  • 7.5 million employed workers
    • 73 percent work in trade and services;
    • 21 percent are employed in industry, including manufacturing and mining;
    • and 3 percent work in agriculture, forestry, and fishing1.
  • Total percentage of women in the workforce is 44%2.
  • Approximately one-third of Dutch workers belong to labor organizations.

1 Encarta: http://encarta.msn.com/text_761572410___0/Netherlands.html2 UN Statistics Division. http://unstats.un.org/unsd/default.htm

working in the netherlands salaries and vacations
Working in the Netherlands: Salaries and Vacations
  • The Average salary is from € 25,000 to € 30,000.
    • Salaries are usually paid at the end of each month.
    • Twice a year employees will receive an extra payment
  • The Average employee is entitled to 20 days of paid vacation per year.

European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions

industrial relations climate
Industrial Relations Climate
  • Treated in Collective Agreements – which cover around 75% of workforce:
    • Childcare Arrangements:
      • No very well developed yet
    • Parental Leave
      • Provision to switch to part-time
      • Paid Maternity Leave: 16 weeks (4-6 to be taken prior to the delivery)
    • Sexual Harassment:
      • Consist of complaints procedures and prevention policies
    • Legal protection from discrimination

European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions

Federation of European Employers:http://www.fedee.com/condits.html#The%20Netherlands

doing business in the netherlands cultural aspects
Doing Business in the Netherlands: Cultural Aspects
  • Achievement Society/Egalitarian Society
    • Status and respect are gained through education and personal skills
  • Consensus
    • Decision-making process are complex: everybody needs to be heard (meeting are held for hours)
  • Directness
    • Politeness is considered a waste of time, as unpleasant messages may be hidden
  • Power Distance – Specific Culture
    • Professional and private lives are “strictly separate”. Clear separation between public and private lives.

Intercultural Communication

Comparative Management

index scores pdi 38 idv 80 mas 14 uai 53 lto 44
Index ScoresPDI=38, IDV=80, MAS=14, UAI=53, LTO=44

Hofstede’s Dimension

“This relatively low MAS Index value may be indicative of a low level of differentiation and discrimination between genders.

In this culture, females are treated more equally to males in all aspects of society. This low Masculinity ranking may also be displayed as a more openly nurturing society”

Data Obtained: (http://www.geert-hofstede.com/hofstede_netherlands.shtml)

question for the audience
Question for the Audience?

Based on what we have seen so far, do you think that the gender pay gap in the Netherlands is lower than the average in the rest of the E.U.?

the gender pay gap in europe
The Gender Pay Gap in Europe

Commission of the European Communities (2005).

the netherlands a dominant male corporate culture
The Netherlands: A Dominant Male Corporate Culture
  • 70% of Dutch Women work Part-time1
  • Number of Women on Dutch Boards: 7%2
    • 60% of which are foreigners, primarily from UK or USA.
  • Less than 5% of Professors in Dutch Academic Institutions are women2.

1 Gunn, Natasha. Where do all women go?

2 van der Boon Mary. Glass Ceiling in the Netherlands.

key barriers to women on domestic labor market
Key Barriers to Women on Domestic Labor Market
  • Dutch culture feels that parents should take care of their children1.
  • Mothers typically choose to stay homeor to work part time2
  • Even when children are older Dutch women “would rather take painting lessons”3

1 Sloan Work and Family Research Network.

2 Sloan Work and Family Research Network.

3 van Der Boon Mary . Glass ceiling in the Netherlands.

share of part time employees among women and men employees in eu member states 2004
Share of part-time employees among women and men employees, in EU Member States - 2004

Commission of the European Communities (2005).

key barriers to women on international assignments
Key Barriers to Women on International Assignments
  • Lack of experience in managerial positions.
  • Assumption that women do not want to be International Managers
  • Refusal of some companies to send women abroad
  • Belief that foreigners’ prejudices might have a negative impact on women performance.

Van Der Boon – Forget the Myths

current issues for dutch expatriates
Current Issues for Dutch Expatriates
  • The vast majority of Dutch Expatriates are men.
  • The majority of trailing spouses are women
    • 50% of which have a career in the home country.
    • It is hard for these women to obtain working permit in host countries
    • The Permits Foundation based in the Hauge is currently lobbying to make it easier for women to obtain these permits.

Hamm Jennifer. Expatica

kit intercultural communication
KIT Intercultural Communication
  • Provides Consultancy services that helps expatriates to work effectively in an international context.
  • Clients: Management and Senior Staff Members of Public and Private organizations.
    • ING Bank NV
    • KLM
    • Philips
    • Shell
    • Unilever


kit training programs
KIT Training Programs
  • Group Target “We inform and coach anyone who is going to work abroad, long term or short term”
      • businessmen/women;
      • expatriates in general;
      • their partners and children.
  • Objective:
      • Participants get to know culture and communication patterns of new country.
      • Focuses on cultural differences between home country and host country
  • Methods:
      • awareness of one's own intercultural competencies;
      • interactive training modules in how to do business in the new culture;
      • workshops and lectures on the political and economical background of the new culture;
      • workshops on norms and values in day to day life;
      • partner workshops and partner career workshops;
      • re-entry workshops.



A Road Less Traveled

  • Expatriate selection from middle to senior management
    • Generally male, middle-aged, and married with children
    • Women equal only a small proportion
  • Women are under-represented in expatriate positions
    • 3% in 1980s
    • 5% in 1990s
    • 15% in 2000
    • (Women in Management Review, 2004)

A Road Less Traveled

  • Japan- 5% 1
  • Europe- 16%1


  • US- 13%2

1Cendent International Assignment Survey, 2001

2Catalyst Women in Business Study, 2000


Global market requires MNCs to Optimize Talent Pool

  • Women equal near 50% of total world population
  • Number of skilled, educated workers declining as demand increases
    • Particularly in Developed countries
  • Need to recruit and retain the most qualified managers to effectively compete on a global scale
    • Can no longer limit or exclude talent pool based on gender or other personal characteristics
    • (Sloan Management Review, 1992)

Roadblocks for Women Expatriates

  • Unfavorable bias in selection process
  • Unfair belief that host countries cultural norms will restrict women
  • Headquarters hold women to lower expectations in overseas assignments
  • (Woman in Management Review, 2002)

Bias in Selection Process

  • Men make most selection decisions (US)
    • Hold traditional views and stereotypes towards women in leadership roles3
      • Women do not “fit” the criteria for effective international managers (European)
        • Emphasis on interpersonal, co-operative, and intuitive styles of management 4
  • Influence of other critical selection systems
    • Use of closed/informal system seen to create gender bias in recruitment 4

3International Journal of Management, 1999

4Thunderbird InternationalBusiness Review, 2002


MNCs Must Develop Selection Process

  • Study and Conduct Research on Women (US)
    • Substantial facts over stereotypes and “myths” 5
      • Women more conceptual fit for model- 根回し“binding the roots of the trees”
  • Convert to open/formal systems (European)
    • Consistency in expatriate selection with formal criteria to reduce discrimination of women 4

5Journal on Managerial Psychology, 2003

4Thunderbird InternationalBusiness Review, 2002


Cultural Norms will Restrict Women

  • Women not “Internationally mobile”(US)
    • Clients outside the US are more comfortable working with men6
  • Female expatriates face prejudice from foreigners 4
    • Excluded from business interactions and minimal participation

6American Compensation Association, 2001

4Thunderbird InternationalBusiness Review, 2002


MNCs Must Develop a Geocentric Mindset

  • Based on “gender”, “career,”and “culture”as a framework(US/Netherlands in Asia)
    • Over time “career” emerges and leads to a re-composition of perception6
  • Viewed as foreigners , not just women (US in Japan)
    • Not subject to same cultural constraints as local women7

6Leadership and Organization Development Model, 2003

7International Studies of Management and Organization, 1994


Lower Expectations in Overseas Assignments

  • Biggest obstacle faced is home country managers (US)
    • Low performance expectation held by headquarters8
  • World of business dominated by men
    • Skeptical on success9
  • Implicit prejudice through all stages of expatriation 9

8The Journal of World Business, 2000

9The Journal of Management Development, 1994


MNCs Must Develop Support Mechanisms

  • Give female expatriate every opportunity to succeed
    • Accord full status at outset, not temporary or experimental
  • 97% from survey reported success in expatriation experience (US/Europe in Asia)
  • Recognize differences and begin steps towards equity
  • (The Journal of Management Development, 1994)

An IHRM Roadmap to Success for Women Expatriates

  • Develop Expatriate Selection process
  • Develop a Geocentric Mindset
  • Develop Support Mechanisms

any questions?


zijn er vragen?