I was approached my Tom Jeffries on behalf of Nutmeg who asked if I would like to post the findings of their survey on women being the breadwinner of the family. Tom said that the survey “found that women leaving work to have children feel that they could have been the main breadwinner in their relationship had they not left work”.
He also said that “It also found out that one in five women believe that being the breadwinner makes it harder for them to leave their job to have children”.
I don’t normally succumb to putting guest blogging requests on my site but this one intrigued me as I was the breadwinner of our family but still decided to leave employment to look after my children. A choice which I don’t regret 100% but I still wonder where I would have ended up (I have a B.H. Hons in Business and was an Office Manager at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne).
So I asked Tom to forward me his article, and having read it , I thought it would be an interesting read to many of you if you can resonate with this subject matter.
So I’ll not waffle on any longer…. Over to you Tom:
A survey carried out by Nutmeg.com has found that stay at home mums believe they would be the breadwinner in their relationship had they not given up work in favour of childcare.
Of women who were the highest earners in their family, 21% left jobs to be a full-time mum. A further one in five of these women were unhappy about being the main earner in the relationship as it made it harder to leave the job to raise children. Women breadwinners is something that has increased drastically in recent times, with only 4% of women being the breadwinner in 1969.
Of the over 2,000 women surveyed by Opimium, just under half of women had either gone part-time or given up work completely to raise their children. Full-time fathers are far less frequent, with less than one in twelve cutting hours or leaving work to care for children.
The survey found that women are unhappy about being the breadwinner, and “the responsibility of earning more money has a negative impact on just fewer than one in five female breadwinners, who say that it makes them feel more restricted and they feel less free to change jobs or take maternity leave,” whilst only 14% of men said that their female partner being the breadwinner caused tension.
The woman giving up work is not always a set plan however; as 5% of women said that they sometimes feel their partner should have given up work instead of them.
Author on the family Patricia Morgan told the Mail: “Women are prepared to give up high earnings because they want to bring up their own children rather than dump them on someone else.”
The findings underline the sacrifices made by mothers who give up careers for family roles.
Interestingly, despite women often being the main breadwinner in families, there is a current drought of women as CEOs on Wall Street. Research carried out found that although women do work in the financial sector, there are no women CEOs.
This could be that industry fluctuations disproportionately affect women over men, as was seen in both 1987 and 2000. A Securities Industry Association study found that women in the industry fell from 43% pre-burst to 37% after layoffs.
So with so many women earning more than their husbands/partners, why is there still a stigma over the stay at home husband?
Some men have said that having their wife as the breadwinner can be emasculating, and that “for years, the husband in question has had emasculating jokes and jibes about his role in the home ‘and whether he has pink washing up gloves’” – Telegraph.
What can be done? Jenny from Rocking Your Role says “society [needs to] to change its attitudes to female breadwinners and stay at home dads. I want women to be able to celebrate their achievements to leave a lasting positive legacy for the next generation.”