Multinational organisations experience difficulties in finding managers willing to accept international assignments. This study has therefore focused on factors that can predict males' and females' willingness to accept international assignments, or to follow their partners on international assignments. Hypotheses were formulated based on the Rational Choice/Human Capital Theory, the Family Power Theory, the Life Role Salience Theory, and the Psychological Contract Theory. Data were collected using a written questionnaire from 178 male and 122 female employees of a large Anglo-Dutch company. Results using regression analyses showed that male candidates were more willing to accept an overseas assignment and more willing to follow their partners than female ones. Further, the rational choice and family power theories were best able to explain male candidates' willingness, whereas females' willingness was better predicted using variables from the life role salience and psychological contract theories. However, in terms of willingness to follow their partner, all the sets of variables are significant predictors for men, whereas, for women, only rational choice and family power variables explain a significant amount of the variance. The results are discussed in terms of theory and organisational practice. © 2004 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.