Self-Initiated Expatriates: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis of Professional Female Expatriates

  •  Ceili Fitzgerald    
  •  Liza Howe-Walsh    


This study is an original piece of work that offers the opportunity to ascertain and comprehend the experiences of professional female self-initiated expatriates in the Cayman Islands, and presents a valuable insight into what is now an important dimension of international careers and the contexts within which they evolve. Analysis and interpretation of data was achieved through use of interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) a distinctive approach to conducting qualitative research that is concerned with understanding lived experiences. Findings suggest that several contributory factors exist in influencing the female expatriates’ decision to expatriate and that they maintained positive perceptions of the effects their overseas experience would bring to their career prospects. Findings also suggest that while gender discrimination was not commonly experienced, discrimination because of their expatriate identity was.

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