Male expats enjoy a higher salary than their female counterparts

New research from AXA – Global Healthcare has revealed a significant disparity between the salaries of men and women across popular expat destinations.

Female expats losing out to gender pay gap.
Each year, Equal Pay Day is held to highlight the extend of the gender pay gap. This year, 14 November was the day of the year on which the average man has earned the amount the average women will over the course of the whole year.Tying in with Equal Pay Day, new research into the gender pay gap for expats from AXA – Global Healthcare has found that nearly two-thirds (62 per cent) of men enjoy a higher salary after becoming an expat, compared with just half (53 per cent) of women.Of those surveyed, the countries where expats were most likely to say their salary had improved were Hong Kong (85 per cent), the UK (66 per cent) and the UAE (66 per cent). However, within each of these countries, there was a clear gender divide.The UAE showed the biggest difference, with 90 per cent of men reporting an increase in salary, as opposed to 70 per cent of women. In the UK, 71 per cent of men saw an increase compared to 61 per cent of women. However, there was only a slight difference in Hong Kong, with 67 per cent of men and 66 per cent of women receiving higher salaries.

Salary is not always an expat’s main priority

Even before relocating, it seems that men and women have different expectations as to how their salary might benefit. More than a quarter (27 per cent) of men moved abroad specifically for better pay and benefits, compared with just one-in-five (18 per cent) women. In contrast, more than twice as many women (11 per cent) relocated for their partner’s work than men (5 per cent).Tom Wilkinson, CEO, AXA – Global Healthcare comments, “Taking on an international assignment often comes with a wide range of perks and benefits. For many people, the prospect of a higher salary can be particularly appealing, but it’s not everyone’s main priority. Learning a new language or experiencing other cultures can be just as rewarding. Identifying what you want to gain and how you want your expat experience to benefit your career is key to starting any move on the right foot.”
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After completing their assignments, half of the women (52 per cent) surveyed said they would remain in the country they’re currently living in and continue working, in comparison with just two-in-five (43 per cent) men. Instead, a third (32 per cent) of men and a quarter of women (25 per cent) would continue to work abroad by taking another international assignment elsewhere. A fifth (19 per cent) of men would also return to their home country, compared with just 13 per cent of women. Mr Wilkinson concludes, “Every expat’s priorities are different, but whatever you’re looking to get out of your time abroad, there is potential for a huge amount of both personal and professional enrichment. I would encourage anyone living abroad to embrace the opportunities available to them; work and lifestyle, alike.”

Visit our Human Resources section for more on gender pay gaps.

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