Women are making up a growing percentage of American executives working abroad, a study by the National Foreign Trade Council has found--evidence that companies are becoming more comfortable with sending women overseas.
The free-trade advocacy group, in a survey of its members, found that the proportion of female American executives working abroad increased to 13% for 1995 from 10% for '94--a 30% jump.
Bill Sheridan, the council's director of international compensation services, said he expects women to make up 20% of all U.S. executives employed abroad by 2000, based on responses to the survey of about 150 mainly mid-size to large multinational companies.
The trend is occurring as more women are entering management ranks and as the overall number of Americans working abroad is falling.
As for how the women abroad fare, management expert Nancy Adler of McGill University in Montreal says that "counter to popular wisdom, global women managers are finding that a role as a mother often enhances business relationships, including improving negotiations and transactions."
She also points out that women abroad benefit from the household help often available on international assignments--thus reducing responsibilities they would otherwise face were they based at home.