Expat women are young, single and family free

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Women working overseas are more likely to be young, unmarried and childless, according to a new study.

Twice the number of women are already working as expats before they are 30 years old compared to men, found the Hydrogen Group’s Global Professionals on the Move report.

The research showed 36% of women expats are aged between 21 and 30, against 17% of men, while only 15% of them are over 40, compared to half (50%) of men.

Not only are women likely to be younger than men, but they are probably single (22%) and have no children (40%), while around 90% of men are married and 80% have children.

However, three out of four expats are men despite more women (53%) expressing a keenness to live and work overseas than men (49%).

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Once overseas, many women feel homesick (60%), but overall most would make the same choices (90%).

Women that go abroad to live and work generally follow partners (14%) compared to only 3% of men.

A third call the country where they live home, while only 18% would repatriate and 50% say they plan to apply for permanent residency.

Problems finding a job stopped 31% of women from relocating.

One professional expat who has moved between several countries for work is Dianne Weinert, a consultant geophysicist, who has worked in Perth, Tripoli, Houston, Copenhagen and Sydney.

She told researchers: “If I’m honest I wouldn’t even consider working overseas without all the support I get from my husband and kids. We’re a team wherever we go. All I have to do is focus on the geoscience at work.

“I’ve moved my family four or five times internationally. Finding a house or suitable apartment, a school for my ten year old, visa and work permits, health care, getting around and getting to know the neighbours, it’s a huge process of adjustment.”

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