What Enables Skilled Immigrant Women to Build Career-important Social Networks?


  • Mukhammadyusuf Shaymardanov Jyväskylä School of Business and Economics
  • Anna-Maija Lämsä University of Vilnius, Faculty of Communication & Kaunas Faculty Lithuania and University of Jyväskylä School of Business and Economics
  • Suvi Heikkinen University of Jyväskylä School of Business and Economics JSBE https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6775-8535




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.



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