Why More Women Should Work Abroad

Written by  November 18, 2010

Kudos to Selena Rezvani, author of a book on women leaders, who wrote a piece for The Washington Post last week about the benefits and obstacles for women working abroad, specifically in the business world.

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Her piece makes the case that, although policies and support structures for female expats are still lacking (she mentions an office in Asia Pacific that doesn't have women's restrooms on executive floors), the impact that international experience can have on a woman's skill base and resume is worth taking on the challenge. Frankly, by going overseas, women can take advantage of opportunities that may not be available back home and come back ready to move ahead in their careers. 

For anyone, really, the impact that working abroad can have on your skill set and abilities can be invaluable to your career, as long as you reframe your time overseas to highlight the positive effect it has had on your employability. Don't just discuss how difficult it was to adjust to a completely new environment and adapt to cultural differences, for example; instead, tell potential employers how overcoming those difficulties increased your adaptability and demonstrated your ability to learn quickly in stressful situations. 

Rezvani makes a great case for why women - in any field - should at least consider working overseas, and we heartily agree. Of course, hopefully the business landscape at home and abroad will continue to embrace this trend.

For more information on working abroad, check out our Focus On Guide to Working Abroad here.

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Zalina Alvi

Zalina grew up in Toronto and began her career in journalism at the York University campus newspaper. Before joining Verge in 2010, she worked for a documentary festival, a non-profit organization and various magazines and newspapers. Zalina has had some eclectic travel experiences, including reporting for a newspaper on the island of Molokai in Hawaii.

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