My article on the Mobility of Corporate Lesbians is now available online. It was published in the Summer 2011 edition of SIGNS Journal of Women in Culture and Society and published by the University of Chicago Press.
The article looks at a number of issues corporate lesbians face in their career development, and one of them is overseas postings. In my research with corporations in the Netherlands (2008) I heard many women say they would not even contemplate applying for an overseas posting in a country that was not gay-friendly. "Unfriendly" is an understatement. In 5 countries and 2 regions, homosexuality is illegal and punishable by death - see www.ilga.org for details. In companies where overseas postings are part of the process of climbing the corporate ladder, women who cannot advance their careers by being posted to one of these countries do not have the same access to professional growth as their heterosexual colleagues.
Yet a company could take a different stance. It could be a stand for women, including lesbian women, being successful in their careers. Human resources departments in many companies are already finding ways of working with lesbian women to ensure that the company provides all the support the women need to be successful in "unfriendly" countries - or to gain equivalent experience elsewhere.
Read also McKinsey's latest article on women and barriers to developing careers.