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Edited by Kate Hutchings and Snejina Michailova
Chapter 5: Career and family expectations of women in international management: A view across generations
The tendency to continue classifying women predominantly as "stay at home moms", "housewives", and "homemakers" is still very much intact, despite recent integration of female managers into the global workforce (Adler, 1984; Forster, 1999; Slaughter, 2012; Sools, Van Engen, and Baerveldt, 2007; Tharenou, 2010; Wellington, Kropf, and Gerkovich, 2003). The reality, however, is that the level and nature of women's work participation has changed dramatically since the 1950s. Participation in the workforce by women, for instance, has more than doubled for women in the age range of 25-64, according to the U.S. Department of Labor (BLS, 2012). On a global scale, the labour market has seen even more radical changes in terms of women's employment statistics as multinational firms need employees who are more globally savvy and capable and women are becoming a more available and capable demographic. Mercer Human Resource Consulting conducted a global survey of more than 100 multinational companies (MNCs) to find out about their practices of sending women employees on international assignments. The survey shows that Asia-Pacific firms sent 16 times more women employees on assignment in 2007 than in 2001 (Hansen, 2007). Further, over the years, organizations have adapted and facilitated changes in women's participation in the global workforce by allowing more job sharing, part-time employment, telecommuting, flexible time, and opportunities to interrupt work for child care and elder care (Heathfield, 2012; Hutchings, Lirio, and Metcalfe, 2012).
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