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'More women going on expat jobs'

More and more female workers are going on expat job with Asia Pacific region leading the trend.

india Updated: May 31, 2006 12:00 IST

With multinational companies across the globe increasing the number of their international assignments, more and more female workers are going on expat job with Asia Pacific region leading the trend, according to a survey by human resource consulting firm Mercer.

In the past five years the percentage of female expatriates workers have increased significantly to 13 per cent from 8 per cent globally, the study said.

The increase in the number of female worker going on overseas assignments was the highest in the Asia Pacific region with 14 per cent of females comprising the expat jobs, up from 9 per cent five years ago, the study said.

North America, however, continued to be the region with the highest number of female workers on overseas assignment at 15 per cent up from 11 per cent five years ago.

Mercer's 2005/2006 International Assignments Survey, which covered 200 multinational firms across a variety of industries said the overall number of international assignments from subsidiary to subsidiary in the past two years increased by 44 per cent.

Much of the increase in the number of international assignments was due to the widespread use of short-term placements, which have become more prevalent over the past five years, the study said.

The study said mobility premiums--cash incentives to compensate for the inconveniences of being transferred-- continued to play an important role in encouraging employees to take up overseas assignments with 73 per cent providing long term premiums than for short terms assignments (31 per cent).

The Mercer study said globally 42 per cent of companies provided expatriates with free-housing but for the North American companies it was just 22 per cent.

Of the total companies covered by the survey, half of them said they included spouse support in their international assignments policy, 11 per cent did not have a policy but were developing one, and another 12 per cent handled spouse cases on a case-by-case basis.

An overwhelming 95 per cent of the companies granted home leave to the expatriate employees, while three fourth of the companies covered travel costs to home locations, it added.

While a majority of companies surveyed believed that had a general understanding of the cost of their international assignments, only a few were in a position to measure the specific expense, resulting value, and ultimately return on investment from such posting, the study said.