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A Recipe for Relocation This is not an attempt to discriminate.

This particular group up of women decided to break this pattern and do something about it, rather than spiral into despair: They started the CoStars dinners – a monthly get-together for partners of relocated PokerStars employees. “We are a “grassroots” group started over six years ago as an informal way of networking,” explains Susanne, a Swede who is one of the few “original” members left, as the network has grown and altered over the years. “The dinners truly helped me start my life on the Island – I made my first, and now best, friends through this group.” The voluntary constellation is organised by a fixed coordinator, who keeps the momentum and continuity going via group e-mails, as well as has the honour (and challenge!) of picking a different restaurant each month. The baton is passed on once every 12-18 months to whomever of the participants is keen to go next. The make-up of the diners differs from month-to-month, depending on who can make it, and who has recently moved on or off the Island. The numbers vary from two to 20, but usually around six to eight ladies join in the fun at each dinner. It’s in no way an elitist or exclusive club – its participants are a diverse crowd of both working women and stay-at-home mums; artists and accountants; teachers and IT consultants; and of nationalities ranging from North American, Eastern European and Scandinavian to Chinese, Korean and Israeli – “come-overs” in all kinds of guises. The only criteria of attendance is being an accompanying partner of a PokerStars employee or even an employee themselves; yet all women

The 2013 Brookfields’ Global Relocation Trend Report showed that 79% of overseas assigners were accompanied by a spouse or partner, and 43% accompanied by children. While the number of women being sent on international assignments reached a high of 21% in 2012, the fact of the matter is that the vast majority of accompanying spouses are still female. While many families move for adventure or cross-cultural experiences, the mainstream move for career advancement. In an international relocation survey conducted by expat expert Robin Pascoe, 63.1% of the respondents stated that they relocated because of a partner’s career and only 5.6% because of both careers. In an age where business is conducted on an international scale and employees are anxious to spread their wings, more companies are adopting comprehensive relocation policies, as a mobile workforce is becoming an essential competitive differentiator. Thus, having a policy to address crucial relocation issues can positively impact the company’s bottom line.

other than showing up and taking part in the fun – it’s a social network on a plate!” enthuses Lucia, a Slovak who only recently moved to the Island from London.

“I find it really refreshing that everyone is at the same level when at the dinner table – no matter what our status in life is, or what our husbands do. We are all in the same boat, and we can relate to each other and share information about anything from children’s sleeping problems to finding a good local dentist,” shares Kirsti, who moved here three years ago from Australia via Sweden with her family of four.

Given that the number one reason generally cited for relocation success is the thriving of the relocated person’s partner or family, this particular social gathering makes even more sense. “We are very fortunate that the company does so much to help its employees and their families relocate successfully to the Island. But this is our own thing – independent from our husbands. Our dinners do not receive support from PokerStars as such, other than spreading the “word of mouth” when newcomers arrive. It’s our golden chance to get out there, build our social network and have a bit of fun too,” says Lian who moved with her family from Ireland to the Island two years ago, when her husband got a job here at the company headquarters. The benefits are obvious when you watch the merry crowd gathered around the table this casual Wednesday evening.

It is clear that the dinners represent a welcome support network for both newcomers searching for key information, and the more established ladies who get to catch up with “old” friends – as well as vent any inevitable frustrations about Island life. “And then you’re sure to know someone at the company Christmas party!” laughs Linda, another established expat Scandinavian, and the party joins in with unreserved glee. Looks like these women have found the recipe for a successful relocation!

“It’s a great opportunity for making new friends. It takes very little effort


Agenda | May-June | 2014  

In the News, The Rise of CSR, A Different Prospective, Sure - Community CSR, Island Sporting Stars, A-List Events, Movers & Shakers, A Cure...

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