Iceland dumps gender gap pay rates

Published:  7 Feb at 6 PM
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Tagged: Money, Emigration
How does the gender gap affect female expat pay scales?

The gender gap as regards average pay and benefits for male as against female employees is a present-day scandal unlikely to be solved soon, but how does it affect expat women looking to further their careers overseas? Relocating abroad to an unfamiliar country is a huge decision on its own merit, without having to consider affordability on a salary that’s lower than its male equivalent. One major expat survey recently released its findings on this thorny question, stating that some 62 per cent of male respondents earned more monthly after emigrating, but only 53 per cent of females told the same story.

Factors determining this unequal result might include the fact that female expats take on far more unpaid work than their male equivalents, thus having less time to give to paid work hours. Also, many women work part time rather than full time as they have family responsibilities. For female expats, it’s often a decision between full-time work and the necessity of hiring someone to help with childcare and housekeeping, with neither decision helping to improve the financial situation, especially where children are involved.

In 2018, Iceland became the very first world country to effectively close pay gaps based on gender. In fact, unequal pay based on gender has been illegal in many countries for some time, but Iceland finally stepped up and enforced confirmation from companies that the law was being upheld. Whilst the expat gender gap as regards pay scales is unlikely to disappear without trace anytime in the near future, perhaps the fact that higher pay isn’t as important to would-be female expats might change.

Over 10 per cent of females surveyed said they’d moved due to their partner’s reassignment as against five per cent of men. It’s also normal for women to choose a new location for the experience of a different lifestyle, whereas the male of the species is far more likely to be tempted by extra money in the bank.
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