What Enables Skilled Immigrant Women to Build Career-important Social Networks?
Keywords:career, human resource management, international worker, organization, skilled immigrant woman, social network, qualitative study
An aging workforce and a decreasing population have increased the need for immigration and international workers in European societies. The aim of this study is to contribute to literature on international workers and their careers by focusing on skilled immigrant women’s career-important social networks. In particular, it explores what enables the women’s access to such social networks, which support their careers in the country of destination. Qualitative interview data from 26 Russian skilled immigrant women working in information technology (IT) or healthcare in Finland were collected. Qualitative content analysis was done to analyze the data. The results show that the studied skilled immigrant women have many paths to accessing career-important social networks. It is concluded that although skilled immigrant women tend to experience challenges in accessing these networks, they can overcome challenges through their own initiatives and with the help of supervisors and colleagues as well as family members and friends. However, relevant organizational arrangements and practices are needed.
Ahmad, A. (2011). Connecting with work: The role of social networks in immigrants searching for jobs in Finland. European Societies, 13(5), 687–712.
Ahmad, A. (2015). “Since many of my friends were working in the restaurant”: The dual role of immigrants’ social networks in occupational attainment in the Finnish Labour market. Journal of International Migration and Integration, 16, 965–985.
Ahmad, A. (2020). Do equal qualifications yield equal rewards for immigrants in the labour market? Work, Employment and Society, 34(5), 826–843.
Al Ariss, A. & Crowley-Henry, M. (2013). Self-initiated expatriation and migration in the management literature: Present theorizations and future research directions. Career Development International, 18 (1), 78–96.
Anthias, F. (2007). Ethnic ties: Social capital and the question of mobilizability. The Sociological Review, 55(4), 788–805.
Arthur, M. B., Claman, P. H., & DeFillippi, R. J. (1995). Intelligent enterprise, intelligent careers. Academy of Management Perspectives, 9(4), 7–20.
Brands, R. A., & Kilduff, M. (2014). Just like a woman? Effects of gender-biased perceptions of friendship network brokerage on attributions and performance. Organization Science, 25(5), 1530–1548.
Bujold, C. (2004). Constructing career through narrative. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 64(3), 470–484.
Burt, R., S. (1998). The gender of social capital. Rationality and society, 10(1), 5–46.
Calinaud, V., Kokkranikal, J., & Gebbels, M. (2021). Career advancement for women in the British hospitality industry: The enabling factors. Work, Employment and Society, 35(4), 677–695.
Carlson, D. S., Thompson, M. J., Hackney, K. J., & Crawford, W. S. (2021). With a little help from my (her) friends: The role of friend support on the negative effects of work engagement for married couples. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 125, 103539.
Cohen, J.R., Dalton, D.W., Holder-Webb, L.L., & McMillan, J. J. (2020). An analysis of glass ceiling perceptions in the accounting profession. Journal of Business Ethics, 164, 17–38.
Colakoglu, S., Yunlu, D. G., & Arman, G. (2018). High-skilled female immigrants: Career strategies and experiences. Journal of Global Mobility: The Home of Expatriate Management Research. 6 (3-4), 258-284.
Crowley, H., & Hickman, M. (2008). Migration, post-industrialism and the globalised nation. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 31 (7), 1222–1244.
Crowley‐Henry, M., Benson, E. T., & Al Ariss, A. (2019). Linking talent management to traditional and boundaryless career orientations: Research propositions and future directions. European Management Review, 16(1), 5–19.
Davis, J., Wolff, H. G., Forret, M. L., Sullivan, S. E. (2020). Networking via LinkedIn: An examination of usage and career benefits. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 118, 103396.
Fernandez, M. & Nichols, L. (2002). Bridging and bonding capital: Pluralist ethnic relations in Silicon Valley. International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, 22(9–10), 104–122.
Forret, M. L. & Dougherty, T. W. (2004). Networking behaviors and career outcomes: Differences for men and women? Journal of Organizational Behavior, 25, 419–437.
Gephart, R. P. (2004). Qualitative research and the Academy of Management Journal. Academy of Management Journal, 47(1), 454–462.
Gill, N., & Bialski, P. (2011). New friends in new places: Network formation during the migration process among Poles in the UK. Geoforum, 42(2), 241–249.
Gorji, Y., Carney, M., & Prakash, P. (2021). Celebrity Couples as Business Families: A Social Network Perspective. Family Business Review, 34(4), 365–384.
Grigoleit-Richter, G. (2017). Highly skilled and highly mobile? Examining gendered and ethnicised labour market conditions for migrant women in STEM professions in Germany. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 43(16), 2738–2755.
Haug, S. (2008). Migration Networks and Decision Making, Journal of Ethnic and Migration
Studies, 34 (4), 585–605
Herz, A. (2015). Relational constitution of social support in migrants’ transnational personal communities. Social Networks, 40, 64–74.
Hirschi, A. (2012). The career resources model: An integrative framework for career counsellors. British Journal of Guidance & Counselling, 40(4), 369–383.
Horak, S., & Paik, Y. (2022). Informal network context: Deepening the knowledge and extending the boundaries of social network research in international human resource management. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 1–37.
Hyde, F. H. (2000). Recognising deductive processes in qualitative research. Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, 3(2), 82–90.
Ibarra, H. (1992). Homophily and differential returns: Sex differences in network structure and access in an advertising firm. Administrative Science Quarterly, 37, 422–447.
Iredale, R. (1999). The need to import skilled personnel: Factors favouring and hindering its international mobility. International Migration, 37(1), 89–123.
Kanter, R. M. (1977). Men and women of the corporation. New York: Basic books and access in an advertising firm. Administrative Science Quarterly, 37(3), 422–447.
Khattab, J., Knienberg, D., Pieterse, A. N., & Hernandez, M. (2020). A network utilization perspective on the leadership advancement of minorities. Academy of Management Review, 45(1), 109–129.
Kornienko, O., Agadjanian, V., Menjívar, C. & Zotova, N. (2018). Financial and emotional support in close personal ties among Central Asian migrant women in Russia. Social Networks, 53, 125–135.
Kram, K. E. (1988). Mentoring at work: Developmental relationships in organizational life. University Press of America.
Krivonos, D. & Diatlova, A. (2020). What to wear for whiteness? ‘Whore’ stigma and the east/west politics of race, sexuality and gender. East European Journal of Society and Politics, 6(3).
Lawless, B., & Chen, Y. W. (2019). Developing a method of critical thematic analysis for qualitative communication inquiry. Howard Journal of Communications, 30(1), 92–106.
McMichael, C., & Manderson, L. (2004). Somali women and well-being: Social networks and social capital among immigrant women in Australia. Human Organization, 63(1), 88–99.
McNulty, Y., & Brewster, C. (2019). Working internationally: Expatriation, migration and other global work. Edward Elgar Publishing.
Nannestad, P., Svendsen, G. L., & Svendsen, G. T. (2008). Bridge over troubled water? Migration and social capital. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 34(4), 607–631.
O’Connor, E. P., & Crowley-Henry, M. (2020). From home to host: The instrumental kaleidoscopic careers of skilled migrants. Human Relations, 73(2), 262–287.
Offerman, L. R., Thomas, K. R., Lanzo, L. A., & Smith, L. N. (2020). Achieving leadership and success: A 28-year follow-up of college women leaders. The Leadership Quarterly, 31(4), 101345.
Patton, M. Q. (2014). Qualitative research and evaluation methods: Integrating theory and practice. Sage Publications.
Portes, A. (1998). Social capital: Its origins and applications in modern sociology. Annual Review of Sociology, 24, 1–24.
Putnam, R. D. (2000). Bowling alone: The collapse and revival of American community. Simon and Schuster.
Ryan, L. (2011). Migrants’ social networks and weak ties: Accessing resources and constructing relationships post-migration. The Sociological Review, 59(4), 707–724.
Schultheiss, D. E. (2021). Shining the light on women’s work, this time brighter: Let’s start at the top. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 126, 103558.
Statistics Finland. Foreign population 2021. https://www.stat.fi/index_en.html (accessed November 20, 2022).
Steel, T., & Jyrkinen, M. (2017). Searching for employment: Highly educated immigrant Women and combined capabilities. Research on Finnish Society, 10(1), 35–42.
Steel, T., Lämsä, A., & Jyrkinen, M. (2019). Paradoxes of mentoring: An ethnographic study of a mentoring programme for highly-educated women with migrant backgrounds. Culture Unbound, 11(2), 275–297.
Traavik, L. E. M., & Richardsen, A. M. (2010). Career success for international professional women in the land of the equal? Evidence from Norway. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 21(15), 2798–2812.
United Nations. 17 sustainable development goals (n.d.). https://sdgs.un.org/goals (accessed April 30, 2022).
Van den Bergh, R., & Du Plessis, Y. (2012). Highly skilled migrant women: A career development framework. Journal of Management Development. 31 (2), 142-158.
Zikic, J. (2015). Skilled migrants’ career capital as a source of competitive advantage: Implications for strategic HRM. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 26(10), 1360–1381.