The purpose of this study is to examine what job-related training interventions female expatriates seek and can access in order to build necessary knowledge and skills to progress into further career-enhancing expatriate positions.
This study uses a cross-sectional qualitative research approach, drawing upon semi-structured interviews in respect of organisational training practice with 26 current female expatriates and nine Human Resource, International Assignments and Training Managers in two oil and gas exploration firms.
Budgets, time and travel restrictions, and competitive business pressures constrain on-the-job training provision for expatriates. Assignees require specific knowledge and skills ahead of appointment to subsequent expatriate positions. HR personnel believe training provides appropriate knowledge and capability development supporting women expatriates’ career ambitions. Women assignees view training available within their current roles as insufficient or irrelevant to building human capital for future expatriate posts.
Longitudinal research across a wider spectrum of industries is needed to help understand the effects of training interventions on women’s access to future career-enhancing expatriation and senior management/leadership positions.
Organisations should ensure relevant technical skills training, clear responsibility for training provision, transparent and fair training allocation, positive communication regarding human capital outcomes, and an inclusive culture that promotes expatriate gender diversity.
Set within the framework of human capital theory, this study identifies the challenges that female expatriates experience when seeking relevant job-related training to further their expatriate careers. It identifies clear mismatches between the views of HR and female assignees in relation to the value of job-related training offered and women’s access to it.