Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Expat Women April 2010 Home Page

Hi Everyone, We have just uploaded our Expat Women April 2010 home page. Please take a look, share it with your friends and tweet about it for us. Thanks!

Success Story
Beverly Mayhew
Beverly Dwiggins Mayhew is the founder of Orientations and distinguished as a pioneer of destination services in Asia Pacific. A long-time devotee to the field of international human resources, Bev’s company has offices in nine Asian Pacific countries...
Read more…

Business Idea
Francesca Chocolate
Cornelia Francesca Maeder

Swiss Master Chocolatier Cornelia Francesca Maeder is a talented expat entrepreneur with a big vision: she wants to create products (chocolate, seminars, books, CDs and more) that positively contribute to the health, success and happiness of everyone touched by her brand..
Read more…

FIGT Report
Families in Global Transition Conference 2010
Rebecca Grappo

Imagine a huge convergence of people who represent families who are in, or understand, global transition. One cannot measure the level of energy nor the buzz of excitement that filled the air of the conference center as old friends reunited and new friendships were made...
Read more…

New Book: Facebook Fairytales
Modern-Day Miracles To Inspire The Human Spirit

Emily Liebert
We talk to Emily Liebert about Facebook Fairytales, which presents twenty-five true, heart-warming stories from the world’s most popular social networking site. Emily shares her inspiration, her favorite stories and her impressions of CEO Mark Zuckerberg...
Read more…

Expat Confession
Not Welcome
Expat Women Girlfriend
Help! My husband’s job has taken us to a small, remote, island community in the middle of nowhere. The population is just over 1,000 people and the locals resent and bully the foreign community. They even chased an expat off the island who blogged about her time here...
Read more…

Expat Divorce Settlements
UK Case Study:
Agbaje v Agbaje (2010)
Carol Barraclough
The newly-reported case of Agbaje v Agbaje (2010) UKSC 13 has raised the issue of entitlement for spouses who have dual nationality in divorce proceedings. This is the first time that the Justices of the Supreme Court have...
Read more…

Not A Member Yet?
Just a reminder that our blog is separate from our main site, so if you are reading this blog post online or you are only subscribed to our blog, you will not automatically receive our Expat Women monthly newsletters. To receive our newsletter this month (which will come out around the middle of April) and to go in the running to win our monthly prize of a complete set of Explorer Publishing's Mini-Guides, please sign up today to our main site,, and receive your free e-book of our Winning Stories!

Have you told your friends? Our Amazon Kindle Competition (where you and a friend can both win a Kindle) closes on April 30. So please do encourage your friends to join Expat Women today!

Thank you very much and have a sensational April! Andrea

Friday, March 26, 2010

Expat Women: Got Stories To Tell?

Hi Everyone, Just a quick shout-out asking you to please keep submitting your expat women stories. So far, we have more than 250 kind readers who have generously made a submission, but we are always needing more quality stories for this very well-read section of our site. So please, submit your story here. You'd be surprised how your story might just help someone else and/or make their day!

Thanks in advance for your support and best wishes for your weekend, Andrea.

PS. Not sure what we are looking for in a story? Please read our Story Guidelines here. Thanks.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Report from ERC Global Mobility Conference in Hong Kong, March 10-11

Hi Everyone, I made a last-minute decision to attend the Worldwide ERC Conference (last week in Hong Kong. To my surprise, it was a very warm and friendly conference, I knew more people than I had expected, and the networking was wonderful. If you work in the global mobility and/or relocations industry, it’s a great, fun conference to be involved in and I encourage you to consider attending the upcoming conferences this year in Frankfurt, Germany (June) and Seattle, Washington (October).

Conference Sessions

To get an idea about what transpired at the conference, here is a list of the main sessions held:

• The New China (Opening Plenary)
• Managing Talent in the New Economy
• The HR Discipline of Measuring ROI
• The Effect of Global Economics on Workforce Mobility and Mobility Benefits
• Survive and Thrive in the ‘New Normal’ – Policy Trends Update and Interactive Workshop
• Global Mobility Benchmarking Workshop for Corporate HR Professionals
• Global Thought Leaders: Senior Strategists Dialogue
• Solutions Workshop: Alignment of Talent, Mobility, and Business Strategies
• Focus on Assignments in Indonesia
• Mobility Compensation Issues and Practices in Asia
• Understanding Localization and ‘Local Plus’
• India: Trends in Workforce Mobility
• Exploring Commuter and Short-Term Assignments
• The War for Talent in China: Benefits, Challenges
• Schooling Solutions for the Assignee’s Family
• Legal Update: Labor and Immigration Hot Issues
• Turn Obstacles into Opportunities Through Hope and Humor (Closing Plenary)


I am going to write up a conference report for our Expat Women April or May newsletter. But in the meantime, here are some interesting insights that I heard during the sessions:

• Last year, US$560 billion of residential property sold in China – which was an 80% increase from the year before – and clearly demonstrates the heightened activity in China at the moment

• The wealth of most of the richest residents in China is property-related, versus only 7 out of 100 on the US’s rich list being property-related.

• Martin Leese, HR manager for Citigroup (48,000 employees), commented that he is seeing a decrease in the acceptance rate of job offers – including for graduate jobs (which he noted was a general financial services trend in the United States right now).

• HR issue regarding expatriates: offering incentives that are ‘sustainable’. Various HR managers commented on their push to make expat job offers more consistent and their need to stop throwing incentives to expatriate employees that are not sustainable in the long-term.

• There was a general trend that ‘local plus’ packages (that is, local packages with some, but not all, extra/expat benefits).

• Brendan Ryan, MD Operations for Fragomen Global, said that in his twenty years of working in the field of immigration law and visas, he had never seen such a worldwide trend to both tighten and enforce immigration policies.

• Tax equalisation: Talk of more and more companies providing expat packages that are ‘tax neutral’ – that is, you don’t lose if you move to a higher-tax country with your employer, but you don’t win either (on the tax aspect... this discussion talked about 'other' benefits separately), if you move to a lower-tax country.

It goes without saying that not everyone agreed with everything (me included), but it was interesting to hear HR trends and listen to the perspectives of HR managers, who, it should be remembered, are constantly under pressure to reduce resource expenditure yet improve their company’s bottom line.

If you are not already an Expat Women member, please sign up so you don’t miss my full report in one of our upcoming newsletters. Thanks for your support, Andrea.

Tune Into Blog Talk Radio: Views From The Top: Friday 19 March,9am EST (US)

Hi Everyone, If you have never tuned into Adrienne Graham's great 'Views From The Top' on Blog Talk Radio, this Friday 19 March (9am EST/6am PST, US) is a great time to start. The topic on Friday's show will be adjusting to and thriving to life abroad including managing your career, business, cultural etiquette etc.

All going well, I'll be on the line with Adrienne, and I invite you to listen in and call in as well. The show goes for 90 minutes so the more questions, insight and stories you can share, the better.

PS. Congratulations also to Adrienne for her 'Views From The Top' (which has over 5,000 listeners) being selected this week as one of the Top 100 Heavy Hitter Shows for small business - and one of only eight shows selected from Blog Talk Radio's roster to have made the list! Full list here. Congrats Adrienne! Andrea

Internet Providers: Losing The Race

Yet again, I have been without Internet at home for nearly a week (hence the lack of blog posts, sorry). I have been calling my provider twice a day: keeping a calm voice; raising my voice; trying to be nice; trying to show my anger; trying any (honest) tactic I can to get a technician to come and fix the problem.

I have been at the wireless café nearby 3-4 times a day: sometimes 7am in the morning; sometimes 11pm at night; sometimes inside; sometimes camped outside like a squatter, trying to tap into their wireless network at odd hours. (Thankfully, so far, none of their employees have been diligent enough to turn off their Internet connection upon leaving at night.) The café is getting sick of seeing me and I’m getting sick of buying Iced Lemon Teas whilst pretending that I’m going to leave soon and/or buy some food.

Every time this happens, I think “why, why, why?” Why is it that we are blessed with such brilliant technology, but at any given point in time, there are thousands if not millions of us unable to partake in our global conversations because our Internet providers can’t keep up in the race? If we can keep up - and learn all the zillions of applications that we need to as users, why can’t the Internet service providers keep up?

Come on service providers: Step up, get fitter, boost your stamina, and don’t (make us all) lose the race.


Monday, March 8, 2010

FIGT Conference

Hi Everyone, By all accounts, the Families in Global Transition (FIGT) conference last week in Houston was yet another great gathering of wonderful people in the relocation/global mobility industry. Congratulations to Kimberly Van Cleave Michaels, the FIGT Board and to everyone who had a hand in making this year's conference the annual success that it is.


At the conference this year, the FIGT Board (and audience) honored two of our all-time favorites in this field for being "trailblazers" in the arena of support for globally mobile families. Congratulations Robin Pascoe and Jo Parfitt. You most certainly deserved to be honored and we thank you for all of your efforts over the years in helping expatriate families adjust, re-adjust and re-invent themselves abroad.

FIGT Article

Our friend Rebecca Grappo is kindly putting an FIGT conference article together for us for our April newsletter. If you have a few great photos to contribute to the article, please email them here.

FIGT 2011

Breaking recent tradition, the FIGT conference next year will be in Washington DC, not Houston. Mark your calendars now.

2011 Speakers

If you are interested in speaking at the 2011 conference, the request for proposals should be announced in April, with a deadline of September 2010. So start thinking of some fabulous, innovative topics and get ready to nominate yourself as a speaker for next year.

See you there in 2011! Andrea

Re:locate Magazine Gala Awards Dinner, May 2010, London

Hi Everyone, If you are in the relocation/global mobility industry and you either will be (or would like to be) in London on May 6, here is the link to book tickets for this year's annual Re:locate Magazine Gala Awards Dinner at the Institute of Directors in London's Pall Mall.

Individual tickets £150 + £26.25 VAT = £176.25.
Table for 10 people (5% discount) £1,425 + £249.38 VAT = £1,674.38.

This year's celebrity guest speaker will be award-winning author, journalist and broadcaster Libby Purves.

"Now presenter of Radio 4's live talk programme Midweek and its specialist education strand, The Learning Curve, Libby was previously the youngest-ever and first woman presenter of its flagship Today programme. Her writing credits include a weekly column for the Times, plus articles for Woman and Home, Yachting Monthly and numerous other newspapers and magazines. She was awarded the OBE in 1999 for services to journalism, and was Columnist of the Year in the same year.

Libby is the author of 12 successful novels, two autobiographies and a series of books on childcare and family life. One Summer's Grace, her account of a sailing journey around mainland Britain with her husband, Paul Heiney, and their children (then aged three and five), has become a classic travel memoir.

The daughter of a travelling diplomat, Libby has first-hand experience of life as an expatriate in several very different cultures, having been educated in Israel, Bangkok, France and Johannesburg before returning to the UK.

Libby is an extremely entertaining and experienced after-dinner speaker and host, and we are thrilled that she has agreed to participate in this year's Re:locate Awards."

Expat Women March 2010 Newsletter

Hi Everyone, We sent our Expat Women members' newsletter out successfully last week. If you are a member but did not receive our newsletter, please write to us here. If you are not a member of our main site,, please join today to support us, receive your free e-book "Winning Stories" and to ensure you get our April newsletter delivered directly to your inbox. Thanks!

March Newsletter

In addition to our March Expat Women home page features, our March newsletter includes:

  • The name of our Explorer Publishing mini-guide pack winner;
  • Our winning story by Expat Women member Amanda (a Brit in Spain), entitled How I Learned Spanish;
  • Sleep and Your Child - a new article by Deirdre Budd, a UK expat in The Netherlands; and
  • Greenback Tax Services' advert for US expat tax preparation - for those of you looking for a helping hand in filing your US taxes.

Click here to read our March Newsletter online and have a great day/evening, Andrea.

Remember: Want to Win an Amazon Kindle for You and a Friend? This month we launched our 'Tell A Friend' competition. Please tell as many friends as you can to join and at the end of April we will randomly select one new member who was referred by a friend and both they and the person who referred them will win a brand new Amazon Kindle. Thank you!

International Women's Days 2010 & 2011

Hi Everyone, International Women's Day (IWD) was celebrated across the globe today (or yesterday, depending on your time zone and depending on when you read this). Hopefully you, your friends, your associations and workplaces did something to make the day special. :-)

Believe it or not, planning has already started for next year, the centenary year (1911-2011) for IWD - to honour 100 years of International Women's Day. (Whilst the first IWD was declared in 1910, the first IWD event was held in 1911.)

To make 2011 extra-special, the official IWD website is launching its 2011 campaign planning now. They want to hear your ideas, visions, challenges in the lead up to the 2011 IWD Centenary. They are also actively looking for global supporters (corporations, charities, media partners, agencies, etc) to assist with their 2011 vision - calling for global partners to support various initiatives and opportunities.

For example:

* Establishment of International Women's Day Foundation
* IWD Centenary global logo competition for girls
* IWD Centenary '100 women, 100 stories' initiative
* IWD Centenary '100 women, 100 pictures' initiative
* Worldwide gender-related "Charity of Choice" for global donations
* Further IWD Centenary opportunities available

If you, your friends, your association and/or workplace can help, please get in touch with the IWD website here. Thanks.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Want to Win a Kindle for You and Your Friend?

Hi Everyone, In an effort to further raise awareness of Expat Women and the plethora of free resources we have available for women living abroad, please support our 'Tell A Friend' competition and tell as many friends as you can to join and to answer "Friend" in the "How Did You Hear About Us?" box.

On 30 April at 5pm New York time, we will compile a list of every new member who was referred by a "Friend" and then ask someone independent of to randomly select a winning number that will match one of the new member numbers who were referred by a "Friend".

The winning member will be emailed from and asked who referred them. If they do not reply within seven calendar days they will be emailed again. If they do not reply within a further seven calendar days they will forfeit their chance to win and a new winner will be randomly selected. This process will continue until we have a winner who responds to the winning notification email with the name of their referring friend, so that we can be sure that we actually have a winner (and their referring friend) to claim these great prizes!

The winning member and their (one only) referrer (who must also be a current member of will each win an Amazon Kindle Wireless Reading Device (6" display diagonal E Ink® edition, 8" x 5.3" x 0.36") valued on at 1 March 2010 @ US$259. Judges decision will be final.

So please rally some support for us and encourage your friends to join Expat Women today!

Thanks so much in advance for your support, Andrea.

PS. In response to a few questions about this post, I need to add that: If you are already an member and receive our monthly newsletters, you do not have to join again on the sign-up page. Just ask your friends to visit that page and sign up please. Thanks. :-)

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