"...understanding the need for flexibility in global mobility without compromising compliance and cost effectiveness"

Karen Mathiesen of WorleyParsons, speaking at our Sydney Conference, tells us why there can be very significant risks to expats...

Go to the profile of Rosie Perkins
Jun 22, 2017

FEM is delighted to confirm that Karen Mathiesen, Group Mobility Manager, at WorleyParsons will be joining us on our 'Sharing Policy Best Practice - Meeting Productivity and Cost Initiatives' keynote panel at the FEM Sydney Global Mobility Conference 2017 on 27 June.

Karen kindly took some time to answer some of our most pressing questions...

FEM: How long have you been involved in the Global Mobility sector?

KM: Over 20 years – now managing expats in the APAC region for a major engineering company.

FEM: What changes have you seen in that time?

KM: Expats and their families are more open to leave home and experience other cultures which also means with the higher uptake of an expatriate workforce the process has needed to become much more economical to the business and more efficient for the expatriate.

FEM: What do you think are the 3 greatest challenges facing Global Mobility professionals today?

KM: Increased compliance and restrictions by individual governments would be number one I think and with countries becoming more nationalistic with seeking employment opportunities for their own citizens, immigration regulations can make it very difficult to resource projects to meet tight timelines. With the downturn in some markets it can be difficult to attract the right expat and encourage them to uplift family for a package that is not as competitive as they used to be, changing markets of course change this dynamic.  Thirdly, working in GM is a very specialised area and without the proper training of practitioners there is a very significant risk to expats particularly when it comes to tax and statutory requirements in a foreign jurisdiction – if not managed correctly it can influence the success of an assignment and have a detrimental effect on the commercial viability of a project or business.

FEM: Why do you think 'Sharing Policy Best Practice – Meeting productivity and cost initiatives' is such a challenge for Global Mobility and why is it important that the audience understand more about the debate?

KM: Practitioners of GM must be commercially sensitive to the challenges faced by the business when working across borders to support all stakeholders but also have enough flexibility with policies and processes to ensure the expatriate assignment is a success.  Early planning and lots of consultation is required by GM across all aspects of an international assignment.

FEM: What is the one message you hope delegates take away from your session?

KM: Be aware of the need to plan for compliance requirements when sending people into foreign jurisdictions and continually review policies to ensure they are meeting the needs of the business as well as the expatriate.

FEM: Who would you recommend attend your session?

KM: Anyone that has an interest in understanding the need for flexibility in global mobility without compromising compliance and cost effectiveness.

FEM: Which particular session are you most interested to attend?

KM: Global mobility trends and disruptions


About Karen

Karen has responsibility for global mobility across numerous locations in the Asia-Pacific region at WorleyParsons, which has over 23,000 people throughout 112 offices in 42 countries. Karen’s primary focus is overseeing the international and domestic mobilization and movement of Executive and Project-specific resources into established and new country locations in the region as well as providing costing and mobility advice into the commercial aspects of proposals and bids where there are elements of mobility.  She has over 20 years’ experience in international HR and global mobility, with an early background in the military and then across the engineering, construction and project management industries.


Go to the profile of Rosie Perkins

Rosie Perkins

Marketing Manager, Forum for Expatriate Management, Centaur Media Plc

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