Expatriate Business Women In Asia
Business in Asia remains a man’s world with women having a hard time breaking the barriers. As a single female expatriate, you are alone when embracing the new culture and managing culture shock. Isolation is cited as a major problem. However, gender has become much less of a barrier to success in management in Asia, and there are a number of successful women as entrepreneurs and in powerful political positions.
The following guidelines may be helpful:
• Find and join one of the above-mentioned groups as soon as possible.
• You are expected to adopt the norms and respect the local traditions for women in your professional and private life.
• You will not command respect automatically but gain respect by fitting in.
• There are a number of regional and local networks for businesswomen in Southeast Asia, some created by female expatriates.
• A single female sends out mixed signals to the men in Southeast Asia. You may be a potential social problem.
• Look for support from male and other female expatriate colleagues, but do not complain.
• Local male colleagues will treat you differently than their local female colleagues.
• Authorities in Southeast Asia are respected and dealt with in a very formal way. Use your female qualities rather than those shown by many task-driven Western male expatriates.
• Local colleagues like you to show interest and learn new things from them. Listen, rather than lecture.
• Learn the local language and use your new skills as often as possible.
• Show high competence in whatever you do.
• Be inclusive rather than directive.
• Do not act overly competitive.
• Avoid conflicts and emphasize harmony.
• Insist on adequate support from headquarters for a successful performance.
To find out more about job opportunities in Singapore, click here.
Written by: Jacqueline Reischel (ex Singapore Expat)