Extreme Expatriation: The Effect of Location Factors and Masculine Environments on Women’s International Assignment Participation in Oil and Gas Exploration and Production

  • Susan ShortlandEmail author
Part of the International Handbooks of Quality-of-Life book series (IHQL)


Expatriation in oil and gas exploration and production involves relocation or frequent mobility to geographically remote, climatically harsh, even dangerous locations. Living in camps, compounds or offshore rigs typically involves family separation for lengthy periods with little respite from a highly masculine social ethos. Women undertaking such assignments can experience limited opportunities for fulfilling social lives. Even city-based solo expatriation can prove to be isolating. Yet, extreme geographical locations do not preclude women’s expatriation as benefits such as good career prospects, high monetary rewards and various forms of organizational support can potentially outweigh the disadvantages. Based on 12 interviews with solo expatriates, this chapter highlights the factors that influence women’s decisions to undertake single status expatriation and their experiences of living in highly gendered geographies. Organizational policy that supports female assignees can help to make extreme expatriation more attractive to women.


Women expatriates Extreme environments Organizational support Expatriate camps Single status Oil and gas industry 



The author wishes to express her thanks to Wendy Coyle.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Guildhall Faculty of Business & LawLondon Metropolitan UniversityLondonUK

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