Friday, March 05, 2010

International Geographic Mobility Of Women

Generally, women are less geographically mobile than men. In the United States, this cultivates a captive labor market. Thus, women make less than men for doing the same job. Of course, geographic mobility isn't the only variable that helps to explain the discrepancy.

Developing countries are currently seeing a “brain drain” where the educated women are emigrating at alarming rates in search of advancement and fulfilling work. Not only does this deprive those societies of their talent, it also squanders the significant investment made in these women in terms of publicly financed education and training. Institutions in the developed world are experiencing a similar flight of talent when opportunities are lacking. In both circumstances, an organization-wide culture shift is required to nurture an environment that is friendly to women and encourages their advancement. Those organizations that have taken a systemic approach to the issue have reaped the rewards in greater growth and higher returns.

The implication is that better opportunities for women in the homeland would plug the brain drain. There's probably some truth to that, but the Deloitte report doesn't offer a granular enough analysis to earn that conclusion. The bottom line is that investing in human capital leads to more geographic mobility. Knowledge begets migration.

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