Female Expatriates and Gender Stereotypes; A Conceptual Model of Research

Naznin Tabassum, Vivek Mohan

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Over the past decade, a rising trend in female expatriates has caused organisations to re-think their perceptions with regard to women in international assignments (Selmer and Leung, 2002; Cole and McNulty, 2011). Although female expatriates are bound to confront the phenomenon of “glass ceiling” initially to be able to pursue managerial positions abroad, Adler (1993) argued that low percentage of female expatriates is a result of lack of organizational confidence on the women’s abilities and due to discrimination against women in foreign culture. Research on female expatriates has been dominated by issues in the genre of cross-cultural adjustment and adaption (e.g. Lazarova and Caliguri, 2002; Jenkins and Mockaitis, 2010), the issue of gender stereotyping being highly under researched (Bhatti, Sundram and Hee, 2012).In this context, evidence from Agars (2004) confirms the under examination of gender stereotypes that contribute to discrepancies in gender distribution. Hence the purpose of this study is to develop a preliminary model of research to analyse the crucial factors and underlying implications of gender stereotyping on female expatriates. To unravel the perceived challenges faced by organisations with regard to this relatively unexplored area, this study answers a crucial research question:-(1) What are the antecedents that define the formulation and development of gender stereotyping on female expatriates during international assignments? The findings from the review on existing studies indicate that large scale of research samples is essential to attain more focus on the relationship between organisational and individual perspectives involved in gender stereotyping on female expatriates. However two key findings from the review offer insights on the need for organisational researchers to explore more theoretical and empirical venues in this area of research. Firstly, evidence on the role of organisational factors such as Organisational justice and Organisational support (e.g. Forstenlechner,2010;Biemann and Andresen,2010; Doherty, Dickmann and Mills,2011;Vance and McNulty,2014) in shaping up perceptions about female expatriates and secondly, evidence from Schein’s (1973) think manager-think male paradigm on the similarity of leader stereotypes to male and female stereotypes. The conceptual model binds organisational factors from these two key findings to put forward new avenues for empirical and theoretical research on bridging the aspects of gender stereotyping and female expatriates. The study provides future researchers with innovative avenues to examine the perceptions of expatriate gender on the job performance of male and female expatriates. Hence the conceptual model addresses crucial shortcomings in this new area and contributes to the theory development of gender issues and the real impact of lives of employees and their experience within organisations. From a practical perspective, the study opens a window for HRD practitioners and global organisations with useful insights on providing equal opportunities to male and female candidates in overseas assignments.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2016
Event17th International Conference on Human Resource Development and Practice across Europe: Leadership, Diversity and Changing Practice in HRD in a Global Context - Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, United Kingdom
Duration: 8 Jun 201610 Jun 2016


Conference17th International Conference on Human Resource Development and Practice across Europe
Abbreviated title17th International Conference on HRD Research and Practice across Europe
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


  • Female Expatriates
  • Gender Stereotyping
  • Organisational factors
  • Conceptual review


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