Seven Secrets to Succeeding as a Female Expatriate Executive

Monday, October 22, 2012

English: "Place de Tokyo" in Paris s...
By Noch Noch Li

In this day and age, business travel for a few days and weeks, or even a few months, is quite common. Yet, being an expatriate for a few years in another country is not as breezy. Indeed, the percentage of females amongst expatriates is still relatively small compared to our male counterparts. According to a recent survey by Brooksfield Relocation, only 18% of international assignees are female. Given our minority, how can we succeed as international executives for a few years in a country we have never been to, and possibly not speak the local language?

For about 6 years after university graduation, I was moved to London, Paris, Tokyo, and Beijing for work with one of the Fortune 500 companies. In every city I took on the role as a manager but with different departments. Here I draw some lessons I’ve learnt over the years about being on the go.

The ultimate skill your children need to succeed in our global world

Thursday, September 13, 2012

 Children holding the words 'Global Citizenship'

 I always feel that I was blessed by god to be born in such an international family.  Even though it was hard to figure out who I am, and to define my identity based on cultural images and gaps I had to juggle with, when I reached adulthood, I realized that my multicultural background was in fact the biggest asset that had ever be given to me.

It is easy to judge those who have never been exposed to more than one culture as narrow-minded, when it came for us as part of our natural environment.  Stereotypes and categorizations are perfectly normal brain mechanisms no one can be blamed for.  We all do it to some extent.  Accepting these as normal behaviors, and understanding that not everybody has the same background, is the first step we must take to be able to help people around us broaden their perspectives.

Whether or not your family is multicultural or international, here are some thoughts and concrete steps you can follow to provide your loved ones with skills and experiences crucial for survival in our "globalized" world.