Permits Foundation International Surveys
Part 2 of the Permits Foundation International Dual Careers Survey Report (October 2022) reflects the views of spouses and partners of highly-skilled international professionals during a period where organisations, employees and their families were rapidly adapting to new ways of working. It gathered feedback from 730 spouses and partners, with representation from 67 nationalities, in 103 host countries and with 130 employers cited from both public and private sectors.
Part 1 of the Permits Foundation International Dual Careers Survey Report (June 2022) reflects views and experiences of global mobility professionals during an important period of change. It attracted responses from 128 participants from over 64 private and public sector organisations, employing almost 4.5 million people.
The Permits Foundation Brexit Survey (June 2018) looked at the impact of Brexit on EU citizen employees, with a focus on family members during the transition phase and beyond. It was completed by HR and mobility managers in 74 companies, research institutes and universities in the UK. The report includes several policy recommendations to the UK Home Office.
The Impact of Removing the Unrestricted Right of Dependants to Work in the UK (2015) – This survey of 1063 expatriate employees was created in response to a review of the Tier 2 visa route by the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) as part of a Government drive to reduce immigration levels. To read all of our respondent comments, please click here.
International Mobility and Dual Career Survey 2012 – Permits Foundation surveyed over 177 leading global organisations (employing almost 7.5 million between them) to look at the challenge of dual careers and its potential impact on business success, with some very compelling findings.
Expatriate Spouses and Partners, Employment, Work Permits and International Mobility 2008 – Global Survey Summary – This survey examines the views of 3,300 expatriate spouses and partners of 122 nationalities currently accompanying international employees working in 117 host countries for over 200 employers (in both the private and public sector), and provides evidence that a lack of spouse or partner employment opportunities adversely affects global mobility of highly skilled international employees. Alternatively, you can also download the Full Survey Report.
Other International Surveys
In addition to Permits Foundation’s global surveys (above), the following third party surveys also highlight the importance of dual careers and partner employment in global mobility.
The NetExpat and EY 2018 Relocating Partner Survey Report gathered information from 3,412 respondents including 320 senior HR representatives from both corporations and international governmental organisations, 2,086 mobile employees, and 1,006 expat partners.
It found that:
- “Employers confirm that the number one reason for employees not accepting an international assignment is the potential disruption to the career of their relocating partner.
- Today’s mobile employees are no longer interested exclusively in the financial aspect of their international assignment package – they are extremely concerned about the fate of their partners while abroad.
- There is an increasing number of dual career couples who depend on the income of partners during international transfers; 77% of partners are now working before assignment.”
Global Mobility Trends 2016 – Breakthrough to the Future of Global Talent Mobility by Brookfield Global Relocation Services.
Brookfield have released the results of their 2016 Global Mobility Trends Survey, revealing perspectives from over 160 multinational organizations. The section on ‘family-related assignee issues’ (p.67) highlights some key findings on spouse/partner career concerns, including:
- Spouse/partner employment is on the rise: 49% of partners/spouses accompanying the assignee are employed before the assignment (vs. 47% historical average) and 16% are employed both before and during the assignment (vs. 13% historical average).
- Impact on attracting first-choice candidates: 83% of respondents believe that spouse/partner employment has an impact on their ability to attract first choice candidates.
- Impact of Spouse/Partner Employment on Assignment Acceptance: only 5% of survey respondents believe that resistance will decrease in the future.
Career Choice And The Accompanying Partner by Louise Wiles and Evelyn Simpson, Thrivingabroad.com, 2012.
This study of 312 accompanying partners looked at a range of obstacles to working abroad and whether working led to more life satisfaction and assignment fulfillment. In addition to work permit issues, others obstacles included a lack of local networks and local language skills, personal choice to look after the children, and a lack of support from the partner’s employer. Moreover,
- While some partners are happy not to work and find fulfillment in other aspects of the assignment, almost half are ambivalent or unfulfilled.
- Life satisfaction and fulfillment is higher among partners who are working.
2012 Trends In Global Relocation by Cartus
According to this survey of 122 global companies:
- The difficulty in finding partner employment tops the list of family issues (63%) impacting companies’ ability to attract assignees, ahead of schooling, security, lack of familiarity with local customs and language, and other family matters.
- Failure of the spouse to obtain employment is expected to be the most important reason for assignment failure in future; 45% of companies see it as a potentially serious challenge or a real threat.
- Immigration issues are one of the top three mobility challenges, reflecting the range of countries to which companies send assignees and difficulties with local regulations.
- 49% of transferees are accompanied by spouse or partner.
Up Or Out – Next Moves For The Modern Expatriate by David Bolchover and Paul Lewis of the Economist Intelligence Unit, 2010
Perhaps the greatest obstacle to the success of an expatriate placement lies with the expat’s spouse or children, who may resent the separation from their own career, social life, schooling and routine. This was one of the key findings of a report into international assignments, based on a survey of 400 executives in expatriate assignments, or with responsibility for them.
Increasing And Enhancing The Supply of Petroleum Industry Talent By Eve S. Sprunt, Chevron; Monique Simon, Total; Steve Thorness, Baker Hughes; and Paul Musson, Weatherford; The Journal of Petroleum Technology, Vol 61, No. 1, Jan 2009.
The results of a workforce survey by the Talent Council of the Society of Petroleum Engineers among 1711 members under the age of 35. Both men and women identified expatriation issues related to dual-career couples as the greatest challenge in their careers in the oil and gas industry. This issue was ahead of other challenges of keeping up with advances in technology, lack of technical career path visibility and (gender) barriers to career advancement. The article mentions the goals of Permits Foundation to relax work permit regulations for accompanying partners.
Women In Science and Technology – A Business Perspective, published by the European Commission, 2006.
What has to be changed to attract more women researchers to industry and to keep them there? The expert group Women in Science and Technology (WiST) examined the situation in a number of Europe’s top companies, looking at the private sector experience of inequality, diversity and gender mainstreaming. Several contributors stress the importance of family friendly policies and support for dual careers.
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