The phenomenon of female expats and accompanying male spouses is a relatively new but in expansion. Nowadays, around 20% of expats are women. A lot has been said and written about female accompanying spouses but what about male accompanying spouses?
Often perceived as a new “unusual” phenomenon and still a part of a “non traditional family”, they simply are the “21st century men”, the dual career partner in the expatriation adventure.
The dual career is generally the way that male accompanying spouses consider their expatriation. Indeed, they decide to pursue their career, no matter where they live in the world.
According to Simo, an accompanying male spouse, his couple is a “team” with a strong life philosophy: “the one who can boost the other one, will do it”.
However he admits that facing other traditional perceptions is not easy and that all men are not willing to accept this situation.
But find a job is not always easy. As Benjamin told me, Singapore is a dynamic town. Everybody works and works hard. The partner can feel under pressure arriving without job or if searches take longer than expected.
Moreover partners express needs commented in a study led by Dr. Nina Cole, Associate Professor of the Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University*:
➢ 91% of male accompanying spouses express a desire to receive more "hands-on" assistance with the settling-in process.
➢ 52% want more assistance to meet other male spouses
➢ 45% want more information regarding associations/clubs and sports groups for networking and social activities.
Now the question is: How do the spouses’ associations and the HR departments consider this new phenomenon?
*Dr. Nina Cole, Associate Professor of the Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University, has completed two major field studies of expat spouses. At the recent Families in Global Transition conference, Cole presented her findings from 33 in-depth interviews with trailing male spouses to identify specific issues they accouder during the adjustment process