The International Entrepreneur: How to Do International Business… as a Woman

Are the rules of business the same around the world for men and women? As with most questions in international business environments, the answer is?it depends.

In the past thirty years, women have become a greater portion of the global workforce, as well as grown in the number of leadership positions held. We?re still far from equal in the global business world, but we?ve come a long way, Sisters!

Tracy Nicholas of MedVoy in Bogota, Colombia

That said, we need to keep in mind that not all cultures value gender equality in the workplace the same way. When you look at this topic through an American cultural lens, you?frame it in terms of gender equality. What you would do for a man, you would do for a woman in the context of business. In most cultures, the genders have more specifically defined roles and expectations.

My American perspective is that we need to be prepared for common gender-bias situations that arise so that we can handle it with grace, poise, and without losing sight of the business objectives we seek to meet.

So I put this scenario to my blog followers to find out what you think a girl needs to do to get past this unfortunately common situation:

You?ve been working hard to negotiate a partnership in a host country. One night after dinner (and much alcohol) with your counterparts, a member of the partner company makes a pass at you (hints that he wants to have sex with you). How do you avoid you or your partner losing face (or respect) and keeping the situation from interfering with the objective of establishing the partnership?


This blog was originally posted at & is now joining the rest of Becky DeStigter’s international business postings. I look forward to your comments & advice!