GNcareers, from Gulf News

UAE, Qatar voted top countries for career-oriented women

A lot of women around the world dream of living and working in a foreign country. The lure of a better pay, coupled with a chance to experience new cultures and meet new friends, can be enticing.  If you still haven’t made the big move, there’s no need to look further.

UAE and Qatar have just been named two of the best countries for career-oriented women, according to the HSBC Expat Explorer Survey.

The study took into account the answers of 10,000 women professionals working as expatriates in 25 countries. Respondents in the UAE (58 per cent) and Qatar (56 per cent) said that financial rewards, such as income, savings and careers, are the most important reason for moving abroad.

The two countries were rated highly in terms of the financial rewards and career opportunities offered to workers.  Compared to the global average, there are more UAE expatriates in general (55 per cent) who get housing support, in addition to financial assistance, such as annual airfare allowances.

According to the study, around 87 per cent of female respondents in the UAE said they receive benefits from employers, higher than those in India (87 per cent), China (86 per cent), Thailand (85 per cent) and the global average (62 per cent). In Qatar, nearly nine in 10 (88 per cent) receive employer benefits.

When asked about their earnings, 40 per cent of women in the UAE said they make more money than in their home country, compared to 31 per cent global average. About 57 per cent shared the same view in Qatar.

Additionally, 54 per cent of women in the UAE said they are able to put aside more money here than in their home country.

“It is extremely encouraging to see the UAE highlighted by women as a top destination for the financial incentives and career opportunities it offers, further showing why the country remains one of the most popular destinations globally,”said Gifford Nakajima, head of wealth development, UAE and Middle East and North Africa (Mena), retail banking and wealth management, HSBC Bank Middle East.

Nakajima noted that since the UAE’s workforce is predominantly made up of expats, employers here have greater incentives to offer certain benefits which may not be available elsewhere.

"As a result, it is not surprising to see that nearly nine out of ten women receive benefits and it is one of reasons why the country continues to remain an attractive destination globally.”

“[Also], we do see that women highlight the UAE for the financial incentives and the career opportunities it offers,” Nakajima told Gulf News.

In terms of career development prospects, the UAE earned high scores, with 49 per cent of women saying the country is a good place for expats to progress their career. However, there are more women in other destinations, such as Hong Kong (63 per cent), China (59 per cent) and Singapore (56 per cent) who shared the same view.

The 2015 HSBC Expat Explorer survey drew responses from 22,000 expatriates around the world, including 2,000 in the UAE.

The bank is hoping to get even more expatriates to share their experiences of living abroad by participating in their survey this year. “If you’re living or working abroad and are 18 or over, we want to hear about your experience to help other expats navigate the opportunities and challenges of life abroad,” the bank said.



Source: Cleofe Maceda, Senior Web Reporter, GN