Third Of Expat Women Earn Less Overseas Than At Home

Lisa Smith, BA (Hons), CeFA

A third of women expats are making less money abroad than they would earn if they did the same job at home.

The study asked 7,000 women across 168 countries about their careers – and came up with some surprise results.

More than half were happy with their prospects and many were earning more than they would have had they stayed at home, says InterNations, the online expat community.

One in four women stated they moved homes to improve their career, compared with 40% of men.

Only 7% were posted overseas by their employers, compared to 15% of men.

InterNations compiled a list of the top 10 countries for women career expatsfrom the study.

Top was Mexico, where 29% of women earn more than they would at home and 68% are satisfied with their careers, although 26% are upset about a long working week of 45 hours.

Most women work in education and healthcare

Elsewhere, New Zealand has the most women working part-time

“One of the reasons for this might be that a large share of them moved to increase their quality of life (28%), while only 4% named work-related reasons as their main motivation,” said the study.

“However, those who work are highly satisfied with their work-life balance (74%), their job security (71%), and their job in general (76%).”

The survey also revealed most women work in education or healthcare, although this is not the case in every country.

In Ireland, twice the average number of women (14%) are in healthcare.

“It is easier to find job opportunities here,” an expat from Romania told researchers.

In Kenya, money makes women stay in their jobs – with 16% earning more than $150,000 a year. The global average is $75,000 a year.

Top 10 destinations for women career expats

RankCountryHigher salary levelCareer satisfactionWeekly working hours
5New Zealand53%61%41.8
7United Kingdom51%67%41.1


Source: InterNations

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