Lecture Series: Female Skilled Labor Migration Across the Globe
There is a fierce global competition for the best brains, grounded in the belief that the skills of these workers will lead to innovation and a competitive edge for a nation’s economy. At the same time the integration of these well-educated workers is imagined as seamless. In the early academic research and policies, there was an underlying belief that the “skilled” worker was a male, white, single individual – if he had a family, his wife was a trailing spouse. This assumption shifted in the early 2000s, when an increasing number of scholars pointed out that female skilled migrants were not a part of the discourse, despite making up a significant share of skilled migrants. Even within the population of female skilled migrants, this population consists of professionals with heterogeneous racial, ethnic and national backgrounds. This lack of attention was partly due to a blind spot in the literature until then, and also because of the way skills were defined – namely, often technology/educational certificate-centered professions that were most often sought out by men.
In this lecture series, we seek to reassess the gender imbalance of skilled migration research. What has changed since scholarship called for awareness to migrating women’s skills in the early twenty-first century? How have perceptions about skilled migrants as ‘men’ shifted (or not)? In which professions have skilled female migrants entered the scene? How do female skilled migrants integrate into the host society especially in skilled male-dominant sectors? How does the intersectionality of gender, class, and race play out in skilled professions? How have family migration dynamics changed? Has the institutionalization of childcare facilities and policies targeting gender equality and equal pay contributed in changing the picture of gender in migration? The lecture series invites scholars, practitioners and anyone interested in gender and migration around the globe to an inspiring round of lectures and critical discussions on the topic and introduces the audience to gender in skilled migration in Germany, Europe and around the globe.
Upcoming event: 7 November 2022, 5-7 pm, hybrid event „Gender and Skilled Migration: Histories and Changing Modalities” with Prof. Eleonore Kofman (Middlesex University) and Prof. Parvati Raghuram (The Open University)
For the hybrid kick-off event to the public lecture series “Female Skilled Labor Migration Across the Globe”, Prof. Eleonore Kofman (Middlesex University) and Prof. Parvati Raghuram (The Open University) will discuss how the field of labor migration research has evolved to consider the experiences of skilled female migrants. Despite women’s large share in global movements, the quintessential skilled migrant in many people’s minds is usually a white man, whereas women are often envisioned to follow their husbands in the latters’ global career endeavors. Prof. Kofman and Prof. Raghuram were among the first to draw attention to the neglect of women as skilled migrants . In this event, they will discuss whether or not women migrants have become more visible in public and academic discourses and how scholarship could profit from including a spotlight on the Global South.