Understanding professional migrant women’s successful career progression within the Big Four in Luxembourg

By Hélène Langinier, Aline Pereira Pündrich & Akram Al Ariss

International Business Review, 2023


This paper identifies the resources used by professional migrant women (PMW) from Asian countries, Mauritius
and Eastern Europe to succeed in their careers in the context of the Big Four firms in Luxembourg. Our study
builds on 39 interviews, 21 of which are with PMW, and the remaining 18 are with leaders working in this field.
We draw on the Theory of Practice of Bourdieu to highlight how a population who is a priori discriminated
against can rebalance an unfavorable power dynamic through the identification of resources necessary to
develop agency in order to succeed in a specific context. Understanding the role of the interplay between local
and organizational factors in shaping the power logic that defines career progression provides the opportunity to
alter the reproduction of a notoriously elitist field in favor of more diversity.