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Paths to professional success of women with a migration background and reasons for their successful positioning in professional life

Date 17 December 2008
type Expertise

In their study, Prof. Dr. Manuela Westphal and Dr. Birgit Behrensen conduct 30 qualitative guideline-based interviews with professionally successful female immigrants to identify the determinants for their professional careers. Their biographies illustrate that next to a strong self-motivation, a supportive family atmosphere as well as support in school, professional training and the working environment, are crucial factors that promote professional success.

The interviewed women can throughout be described as personalities that play an active part in the enhancement of their educational and professional career, that do not let themselves be discouraged when faced with difficulties and that explore alternative strategies. Many of the professionally successful female immigrants also describe the encouragement that they experienced from their parents to reach financial independence as an important factor. Also, teachers and instructors play a key role: Through their commitment, successful educational careers can be instigated and initially less successful ones redirected. Building blocks for a career are moreover possibilities provided for learning and improving German language competencies.

This publication is only available in German.

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