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to think this job offer is sexist bullshit?

(77 Posts)
GermanHouseCat Wed 05-Aug-15 20:40:04

I have a post in Overseas as this started out as a few specific questions about moving to Taiwan for DH's job. It has now become a bit of a circus and I'm looking for some views.

DH was approached about a senior job in an international company in Taiwan - it would be a big promotion for him (different company) and is a slight known quantity as he kind of knows the big boss already. It's a decent expat package with housing, flights home, schooling for any future DC etc.

He has now been formally offered the role, but the offer is on a tiered system based entirely around whether or not I move to Taiwan with DH. We had initially been planning for me to stay in the UK for a while, then get a job in my industry in Hong Kong and then finally end up in Taiwan in a few years full time when we're ready to have DC. We are confident based on our current and previous arrangements that this can work.

The hiring manager (himself an expat) isn't happy with this and wants me living there full time from the start. He seems to have a warped idea that women should be with their husbands and that anything else couldn't possibly work. As such, he has made DH an offer based on me moving. If I don't move, the offer reduces by about 25% and is no longer that great. The 25% certainly doesn't represent my current salary.

AIBU to think that a) a company would never demand that a husband give up his own successful career to support his wife, and b) that it is no bloody business of theirs anyway as long as DH is there and the job gets done??

Really upset for DH if this falls through as it is a fantastic career opportunity for him which he has been after for quite a while.

woowoo22 Wed 05-Aug-15 20:42:17


Which industry? This is insane!!! shock shock

morningsarepants Wed 05-Aug-15 20:42:51

That's ridiculous. Would you really want to live somewhere like that? Maybe society in general there is sexist so it might not be great. I couldn't stand being thought of as the "little woman" following her husband's career around....

OwlinaTree Wed 05-Aug-15 20:43:57

Maybe they think he won't stay in the job if you are not there, there is a chance you could get a better job and he'd leave to follow you.
Yes it is sexist if they would only make the offer this way round, but do you know that's the case?

Georgiedawes Wed 05-Aug-15 20:45:29

I agree, ludicrous.

However, my department has a lot of foreign staff and has several cases of people spouses staying in their home country and the staff member leaving to return home as they struggled without them. Wonder if that's more what they're worried about, your husband leaving?

RepeatAdNauseum Wed 05-Aug-15 20:45:38

On the face of it, it doesn't seem that unreasonable to offer a larger relocation package for someone moving their family with them.

I was offered a higher salary for a move across the UK if DP came with me - they believed this meant I was likely to stay longer, and I mentioned that he'd have to give up his job and his salary to join me, so they increased my offer subject to him moving too. Maybe that's why it doesn't seem so sexist to me?

You should still make the right decision for you. If the salary isn't that great if you don't want to go, negotiate or don't take the job. It should be easy enough to work out if it's worth you going too.

GermanHouseCat Wed 05-Aug-15 20:45:42

I don't think Taiwan is sexist in itself, this appears entirely to be the attitude of the hiring manager, himself an expat who has been in Asia a long time.

It does seem to be based on the idea that a wife is there to support her husband, and of course the arrangement couldn't possibly work if I'm doing my own thing somewhere else.

I am furious, and feel so shitty for DH that he might lose out because I'm not willing or able to just pack up and move to Taiwan in one month...

GermanHouseCat Wed 05-Aug-15 20:47:57

It does seem to be (at least in part) that they are worried he will leave if I don't join, but don't seem to take seriously the fact that we have discussed it at length and come up with an arrangement that suits us.

It is not a lower offer to reflect lower costs of only him moving.

GloGirl Wed 05-Aug-15 20:50:46

I sort of understand it. He thinks there is no real commitment if his 'family' doesn't move out with him (his family being you and no children at the moment )

I'm guessing this is based on what has happened with previous hires who eventually after a year or less decide they are too homesick and move back.

I'm guessing if it were you being offered the job it would be conditional on your husband moving.

It's not fair and it's not right, but that's what you get when you choose to work outside of the UK which is so heavily regulated.

MaryBerrysEyelashes Wed 05-Aug-15 20:51:50

just lie?

lavenderhoney Wed 05-Aug-15 20:54:41

He could be considered on single status which is the drop of benefits- obviously he wouldn't be getting the free flights etc for you if you aren't there, and they are making a saving on housing, private health, etc. they can change it if you live there, and presumably you would work or have DC so you also both need to have this somewhere in his contract should you choose to do this.

However, it's neither here nor there what your dh personal arrangements are, now or in the future. It's not for his new company to dictate the arrangement of his marriage and he might not like it after the probation period anyway. It would be prudent not to throw your lot in. I can only assume they think he might leave after the pb, and if you are there and given up your job, he would be more likely to stay.

He needs to do a lot more research into this company as I think they sound total arseholes - and you're right- if him being there is dependant on his wife coming and binning her career, they don't sound that great an employer.

Jobs now are 2 years and you move on, 2-5 with expats maybe and no one expects longer- so insisting he forces you to come is ludicrous!

kimcat32 Wed 05-Aug-15 20:55:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FuzzyWizard Wed 05-Aug-15 20:56:00

I agree that it's about getting him fully committed to staying if they can. I agree that it's pretty interfering but I don't agree that it's sexist. They'd probably have the same conditions for a woman.

lavenderhoney Wed 05-Aug-15 20:57:41

He could say you will reconsider such a move after the probation period where he and they get to see if they are happy with him/ he is happy in the role.

And they pay for your extra study or something whilst trapped out there as a trailing spouse.

Scarydinosaurs Wed 05-Aug-15 20:59:16

Hmmm I can see they think he's more likely to stay if you're there too- but it treats you like an object and a commodity and disregards you as an actual person.

Have you tried to negotiate to keep the higher salary with a clause that he will stay for x amount of time?

Husbanddoestheironing Wed 05-Aug-15 21:00:33

Have heard of similar with Middle East jobs, and in those cases it meant exactly as it sounds. In our case my DH wouldn't even consider it on that basis no matter how good it would be for him (lucky as it saved me saying 'no way') Sorry, not very positive, but sometimes that's the way it is in other cultures or just in particular companies, so best to check it out thoroughly before you commit...

Littlef00t Wed 05-Aug-15 21:01:42

How would it work if you agreed to move then 'changed your mind' can they really refer to your residence in a conditional contract, or would it just affect 'which' contract he signs?

GermanHouseCat Wed 05-Aug-15 21:02:11

I recently had a relocation expat offer (slightly different industry and another part of Asia) and they had NO INTEREST WHATSOEVER in my living arrangements, whether DH would come, what he would do for work. So while I don't know that this exact company wouldn't do the same, I definitely think there is less of an expectation that a husband would need to give up everything to move.

Apparently they will pay for Mandarin lessons to keep me entertained...

GermanHouseCat Wed 05-Aug-15 21:04:09

Sounds like they would be on the lookout for me "pretending to move" - ridiculous because how would they even know?

DH is wonderful and is fully 100% prepared to say no to this. I'm just acutely mindful that while I've been lucky and my career has rocketed it's time for his to do the same if he can.

Husbanddoestheironing Wed 05-Aug-15 21:04:39

Well I guess they would 'keep you out of trouble' while your DH was elsewhere grin

Skiptonlass Wed 05-Aug-15 21:05:55

Do they have a service that helps the trailing spouse to find a job? That'd be a necessity for me.

DadfromUncle Wed 05-Aug-15 21:07:12

Having done some work overseas (only short periods) I have been shocked by the attitudes both of the British ex-pats and the hosts at times. I am not knocking Taiwan but I cannot imagine it is significantly less sexist than here on the whole.

GermanHouseCat Wed 05-Aug-15 21:08:25

I'm not really interested in finding a job there to be honest. If it were HK or Singapore then definitely, but I work in a niche part of banking that is just not a thing in Taiwan. I'm not ready to give up work though, which is why the idea of staying in London and then working in HK (only one hour away from Taiwan) appeals to me. I travel so much already for work that the thought of weekly HK-Tw flights is totally do-able.

FuzzyWizard Wed 05-Aug-15 21:26:57

DadfromUncle- in 2013 Taiwan was ranked 2nd for gender equality. Only the Netherlands ranked higher. This is mainly due to high levels of political participation and a good record of women in CEO positions in business.
The OP doesn't want to move there though so it doesn't much matter I suppose. It is however a beautiful country and I bloody loved my visit there.

chippednailvarnish Wed 05-Aug-15 21:29:50

Lie, take the increased relocation package and then bugger off to HK two weeks later.

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