Female expats may find Malta disappointing

Published:  9 Mar at 6 PM
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Although it’s popular with male expats as regards its employment opportunities, Malta is underwhelming a good number of expatriate female professionals.

The results of the recent InterNations expat survey awarded Malta 11th place in the countries listings, but the historic island is slower to tick the boxes for female expats. Although both sexes are reasonably content with the island’s lifestyle, job security and overall career opportunities, many female expatriates seemed unhappy with their work/life balance. Respondents of both sexes who reported total satisfaction with all Malta has to offer hit a lower total than last year's of 22 per cent.

The island was first included in the InterNations survey in 2015, with relatively high scores ever since, particularly as regards settling down, local culture, making friends and the balmy climate. However, women seem to have chosen the island for its work opportunities, as have the majority of expats from other European countries. Surprisingly, Brits are just one of the plethora of nationals from all over the world making up the expat community, but the survey showed Germany, Taiwan and Luxembourg topping the list for women working overseas, and job security in these three countries scored higher ratings than did Malta.

To be fair to the island, relocation to a foreign country is harder for women than for men, especially if there’s a trailing husband and family in tow. Overseas postings can result in a business breakthrough unavailable in the home country for many female professionals, especially if the company is male-dominated. However, the corporate setting isn’t the total picture, as navigating unfamiliar education or childcare systems as well as fitting in with local cultural expectations of women can cause stress and depression.

Trailing male spouses provide the main problem for many female professionals tempted to relocate, as male support systems and social opportunities overseas don’t work in the same manner as their female equivalents. In some countries, the male’s role is definitely not seen as supporting his wife’s career, wherever they’re based. Worse still, in many countries, talented female expatriates tend not to be taken seriously, however good they are at their jobs.
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