International Mobility: Expats

Exclusively for Members of Business & Professional Women [BPW] International, this is a BPW Member Project.


Focus Areas: (1) expatriate member development; (2) expatriate member support

Purposes: (1) awareness-raising; (2) capacity-building; (3) emotional support

SDGs: (3) Good Health & Well-being; (5) Gender Equality; (8) Decent Work & Economic Growth

Outcomes: (1) awareness-raising among BPW expatriate members (i.e. those living in a country other than their origin); (2) capacity-building by increasing members’ skills set in regard to living abroad and coping with the challenges thereof; (3) emotional support of isolated members in a shared format; (4) empowerment of expatriate members struggling with issues of professional identity and development; (5) education of non-expatriate members who are considering / planning to live abroad [special open meetings]

Format: (1) online monthly topical meetings with member contribution and open dialogue, for (a) mutual education and support, and (b) exploration of coping skills in regard to living abroad; (2) WhatsApp group for ongoing member communication

Participants: BPW members currently living abroad / in a country other than their own, for (a) employment, (b) study, (c) spouse/partner employment, (d) intercultural marriage, (e) highly mobile ‘digital nomad’, (f) retirement, or (g) personal reasons. Those who have recently lived abroad are also welcome Meeting is opened 3-4 times annually to those who are considering / planning to go abroad.

Sample Topics: Loss of identity, independence, and self-confidence; Impact on mental health; Dealing with discrimination; Differences in work culture and business environment; Lack of professional network; Relationships: loss of original support system, making friends in the new country, impact on marriage/partnership, forming new romantic relationships, intercultural partnership/marriage; Children: moving with / having in new country, education, socialisation; Financial: challenges, decrease in income, independence, planning for retirement; Culture Shock: language, cultural differences, resistance of locals to outsiders, problems within expat community such as alcoholism and promiscuity; Homesickness.

Project Co-Leaders: Geraldine Crevat [France] & Dr Anne Hilty

EWP … promoting global understanding