Call for papers




Final conference of the EUMENTORSTEM project


Immagine che contiene segnale, cielo, esterni

Descrizione generata con affidabilità elevata


Bologna, Italy

12-13 September 2019

Hosted by the University of Bologna,

Department of Management and Department of Education Studies




The share of high-skilled migrants has reached 30% in 2011 (Eurostat, 2011) and several Western countries have resorted to migration policies as an instrument to fill the gaps in the supply of highly-skilled workers in knowledge-based economies (European Migration Network, 2007; OECD-EU, 2016).

Highly-skilled migration trends have increasingly feminized in time, both in OECD and non-OECD countries (Özden et al., 2011). Highly-skilled female migration presents several peculiar characteristics worth of notice, such as unconventional migration biographies (e.g., Gonzales Enriques & Triandafyllidou, 2016), differences in terms of national backgrounds in different host countries (European Migration Network, 2007; Kofman, 2014), high levels of over-qualification and deskilling in the job market with respect to men (Eurostat, 2011), and under-representation in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) sectors (e.g., European Migration Network, 2007; Kofman, 2014; Raghuram, 2008).

Since career prospects, such as occupation level and salary, are affected by the social construction and the power relations underpinning the evaluation of skills (Phillips & Taylor, 1980), they will therefore be affected by characteristics like gender, age, or country of origin (e.g., Jenkins, 2004; Williams & Balaz, 2008). This is why highly skilled migrant women, especially those in male-dominated sectors (like STEM), offer an important context to study how the many forms of social differentiation (e.g., gender, migrant status, occupational sector) operate in conjunction to shape labor market participation and outcomes (Raghuram, 2008; Gropas & Bartolini, 2016; Shirmohammadi et al., 2018).



The purpose of the conference is to provide a unique venue for academic and practice-policy debate, aiming at advancing theoretical development and empirical knowledge and practice about highly-skilled migration of women in the knowledge-based economy. We know that highly-skilled migrants face poor career outcomes, such as underemployment, brain waste, and de-skilling, as a result of individual, organizational, and environmental factors (Syed, 2008; Al Ariss et al., 2012). However, from the academic point of view, although extant research has led to many important insights, we see untapped potential in further highlighting their potential contribution in terms of innovation, knowledge, and socio-economic wellbeing. In particular, we are interested to highlight specific issues for migrant women working in male-dominated sectors (e.g., STEM). From a practice and policy point of view, while many initiatives are set to target migrant women, highly-skilled women are often invisible, and initiatives take place on a fragmented base.

We welcome academic and practitioners-oriented contributions taking different disciplinary views on the topic, so as to increase the variety of disciplines and perspectives represented in the conference and to stimulate dialogue.

We aim to bring together scholars doing research in this topic for a one-day academic-policy workshop, and a half-day academic-intensive forum. We are looking for up to eleven papers, to be presented in a friendly and stimulating environment.


Publication opportunities

Papers presented at the conference will have the opportunity to be considered for publication in a Special Issue in International Migration, which is a refereed, policy oriented journal on migration issues (Impact Factor 1.04) (


Submission information

To apply for participation in the conference, authors can submit an extended abstract of their work, written in English and not exceeding a total of seven (7) pages and 4000 words – five (5) pages for the body which can include charts, graphs, diagrams, and up to two (2) pages of references. The 4000-word count includes all text in the charts, graphs, diagrams, and references. Please use single spacing and 12-point font.

Submitted abstract will undergo a process of review by the conference organizers, so they need NOT to be anonymous. Abstracts should include name and institutional affiliation of all authors, including e-mail contacts. Please note we will give priority to empirical works, although also high-quality theoretical works will also be considered. Selection criteria include the fit with the conference topic and the scientific excellence of the research. No comments will be provided at the end of the review process.

Authors of selected abstracts will be invited to participate to the conference and to submit a full manuscript.

Full manuscripts are expected to be not exceeding a total of 8,000 words, including charts, graphs, diagrams, and references. Please use double spacing and 12-point font.


Abstract and full papers should be submitted in MS Word (or equivalent) or PDF format, via email to [log in to unmask]. In the e-mail subject, please specify "CFP – MIGRANT WOMEN CONFERENCE".


Conference fees

There are no conference fees, however participants are required to register and confirm participation by August 25, 2019.

The organizers will offer coffee breaks and a light lunch during the conference.

Costs for transport to Bologna and accommodation will be covered by presenters of accepted papers.


Important dates



The conference will be hosted by the Department of Management and the Department of Education Studies of the University of Bologna. The University of Bologna was founded in 1088 and is considered to be the oldest university in Western Europe. It is located in Bologna, capital of the Emilia-Romagna region, famous for its towers, churches and lengthy porticoes.

Venue Address: DAMSLab - Piazzetta PP Pasolini 5/b, 40122 Bologna




The conference is organized by an interdisciplinary team composed by scholars of management, cultural anthropology, education and gender studies: Rosa Grimaldi (University of Bologna), Giovanna Guerzoni (University of Bologna) Elena Luppi (University of Bologna), Daniela Bolzani (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore), Francesca Crivellaro (University of Bologna).



The conference is organized within the framework of the Eramus Plus project “EUMentorSTEM - Creation of a EUropean e-platform of MENTORing and coaching for promoting migrant women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, financed by the European Commission (Erasmus+ Strategic Partnership for Adult Education 2017-1-IT02-KA204-036520) -


Further information

For questions regarding the conference and the call for papers, please contact [log in to unmask].


Selected references

Al Ariss, A., Koall, I., Özbilgin, M., & Suutari, V. (2012). Careers of skilled migrants: towards a theoretical and methodological expansion. Journal of Management Development31(2), 92-101.

European Migration Network (2007). Conditions of Entry and Residence of Third Country Highly-Skilled Workers in the EU: EMN Synthesis Report. Available at, accessed 20 September 2018.

Eurostat (2011). Migrants in Europe. A statistical portrait of the first and second generation. Available at, accessed 20 September 2018.

Gonzales Enriques, C., & Triandafyllidou, A. (2016). Female High-Skilled Emigration from Southern Europe and Ireland after the Crisis. In  A. Triandafyllidou & I. Isaakyan (Eds.) High-skill migration and recession (pp. 44-68). Palgrave Macmillan, London.

Gropas, R., & Bartolini, L. (2016). Southern European Highly Skilled Female Migrants in Male-Dominated Sectors in Times of Crisis: A Look into the IT and Engineering Sectors. In In  A. Triandafyllidou & I. Isaakyan (Eds.) High-skill migration and recession (pp. 160-192). Palgrave Macmillan, London.

Jenkins, S. (2004). Gender, Place and the Labour Market. Ashgate.

Kofman, E. (2014). Towards a gendered evaluation of (highly) skilled immigration policies in Europe. International Migration52(3), 116-128.

OECD-EU (2016), Recruiting Immigrant Workers: Europe 2016, OECD Publishing, Paris.

Özden, Ç., Parsons, C. R., Schiff, M., & Walmsley, T. L. (2011). Where on earth is everybody? The evolution of global bilateral migration 1960–2000. The World Bank Economic Review25(1), 12-56.

Phillips, A., & Taylor, B. (1980). Sex and skills. Notes towards a feminist economics. Feminist Review, 6, 79–88.

Raghuram, P. (2008). Migrant women in male‐dominated sectors of the labour market: a research agenda. Population, Space and Place14(1), 43-57.

Syed, J. (2008). Employment prospects for skilled migrants: A relational perspective. Human Resource Management Review18(1), 28-45.

Shirmohammadi, M., Beigi, M., & Stewart, J. (2018). Understanding skilled migrants’ employment in the host country: a multidisciplinary review and a conceptual model. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, forthcoming.

Williams, A., & Baláz, V. (2008). International Migration and Knowledge. Routledge, London.


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