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  1. Why female managers would be desirable within international organisations ?
  2. Strategies to reach an equality of opportunity and trends

The last decade has seen an increasing focus on the gender of top executives and boards of directors of firms, and on the issues surrounding gender equality in management at all levels within organizations (Smith et al, 2006). Despite major changes in equal opportunities, legislation and initiatives in a number of companies across the world, the studies continue to show that ?the proportion of women reaching top positions is still very low in most countries, though it has been increasing in the US and in some European countries' (Smith et al, 2006, p.569). In nearly half of the 41 countries studied, women appear to generally be found in around 20 and 30 percent of legislative, senior official, and managerial positions (Wirth, 2001).

On the other hand, in a few countries, such as the Republic of Korea and Sri Lanka, women hold less than 10 percent of legislative, senior official and managerial positions. Various strategies, from national government regulation to financial and educational support have tried to address this issue, based on the concept of promotion of equality of access to all roles. Some national governments, such as Norway, have legislated that boards of directors must contain a minimum of 40% female members, which has significantly affected the recruitment practices for Norwegian board members (UN, 2003).

[...] (1999) Another `Glass Ceiling'?: The Experiences of Women Professionals and Managers on International Assignments Gender, Work and Organization6 79-90(12) Haines, V.Y. and Saba, T. (1999) International mobility policies and practices: are there gender differences in importance ratings? Career Development International 4 206 - 212 Harvey, M.G. (1995) The impact of dual-career families on international relocations. Human Resource Management Review5 223-24. Krishnan, H.A. and Park, D. (2005) A few good women on top management teams. Journal of Business Research58 1712-1720. Konopaske, R., Robie, C., & Ivancevich, J.M. [...]

[...] This essay explores why female managers would be desirable within international organizations, and how multinational companies might address issues of international staffing in relation to the current equality of opportunity and trends in dual career couples in relation to recruitment. Internationally, the cultural challenges of placement of women, particularly at senior level, are significant. Nevertheless, there might be advantages in having women in senior management positions. Smith et al (2006) for example, carried out a study of female managers in Danish corporations, and found that proportion of women among top executives and on boards of directors tends to have a significantly positive effect on firm's performance. [...]

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