In 2019, women stand at a momentous period in humanity.
Females are now more educated than ever. In OECD countries, around 11 percent more women graduate from university than men. More female students are enrolling in US universities than men (as of 2015, 65.3 percent women, 34.7 percent men), while UK reports show similar figures.
But despite overtaking men in educational attainment, women remain under-represented when it comes to going abroad to work, a new report has found. They’re more likely to be the accompanying expat wife, instead of the primary spouse actively pursuing a career abroad, the latest Expat Insider survey, based on the insights of 8,855 female expats, reveals.
Only 25 percent cite work-related reasons for migrating, with more being likely to cross national borders in the name of love or their partner’s job/education (28 percent). Yet, these female expats report a high level of education: about nine in ten (89 percent) report holding a bachelor’s degree or higher.
And while both female and male expats report equal satisfaction with their lives overseas, a significantly larger proportion (63 percent) of working female expats said they do not have any children, while just 47 percent of men say the same.
“The results of the Expat Insider survey leave us with the question [of] whether women have the same opportunities as men when it comes to combining a career abroad with family life,” says InterNations Founder and Co-CEO, Malte Zeeck.
The gender gap in employment remains jarringly large in most countries and this explains why many women do not have the same opportunities to work abroad as men. Lack of child care, shouldering a larger share of family responsibilities and being paid less are just some of the many issues that beg for resolve.
But there are countries that buck this trend, showing the rest of the world that gender parity can exist and thrive for the working expat woman. So here’s a round-up of the countries that InterNations have found to be the best for the career woman abroad:
1. Czech Republic
The stats show why this European country is top of the list: Career prospects: 73 percent satisfied (vs 63 percent of men); work-life balance: 79 percent satisfied (vs 78 percent of men); and job security: 78 percent satisfied (vs 66 percent of men). In other words, yes, yes and yes.
The biggest plus point of this Middle Eastern liberal enclave is work-life balance, with 76 percent of female expats in Bahrain being pleased – 16 percent more than women globally (60 percent).
Not only is it easy to find a job here, but female workers in Taiwan also reported higher satisfaction with working hours and career prospects in 2018 compared to 2017.
Working here means the “opportunity to live a healthy life with a good work-life balance,” as one British female expat puts it. After all, three-quarters of female expats in Norway (75 percent) are satisfied with their work-life balance (vs 60 percent of women worldwide).
The strongest asset for this Scandinavian country is its work-life balance, voted the best in the world by women! More than four in five (84 percent) are happy with their working hours (vs 61 percent of expat women globally). Ain’t nobody got time for just work here!
Money talks in Luxembourg. More than three-quarters of female expats (76 percent) working in Luxembourg believe they earn more than they would in a similar position back home.
7. New Zealand
Career prospects aren’t as great for female expats here compared to men, but when it comes to work-life balance, close to four in five female expats say they are happy with this factor – significantly higher than the global average.
8. The Netherlands
A whopping 92 percent of female expats are happy with the economy – a large leap compared to the 64 percent of women woldwide. This could be why a Polish expat stated that the “great salary” is one of the best things about life in Holland.
Moving to Malta seems to be beneficial for women’s careers, as 58 percent of female expats in the country are satisfied with their career prospects (vs 48 percent of men).
A female Swiss expat points out that “the work-life balance and the weather are amazing” in Australia. Maybe that’s just one of the reasons why 64 percent of women are also satisfied with their jobs overall, 13 percent more than in 2017.