As the progress of working women sweeps the globe, men are becoming more accepting of changing gender roles today. Today’s young men are not threatened by better educated and higher earning wives In fact, they are adapting their lifestyles to support her career and spending more time with their children than ever before. This is one trend that we at Female Breadwinners wholeheartedly encourage.
A Pew Research Centre analysis on Female Breadwinners in the US found that almost 40% households with children under 18 in the United States has a woman who is the primary breadwinner for the family. Most Americans support this demographic change with only 18% agreeing ‘women should return to their traditional roles in society.
Interestingly, you can see the biggest difference between older and younger men. Young adults (18-29) were pragmatic and more likely to see this positively. The research stated, “While 78% of those adults ages 30 and older say having more women in the workforce has made it harder for parents to raise children, only 60% of those ages 18-29 agree with this assessment. Similarly, while more than half (54%) of adults ages 30 and older say the rising share of women in the workplace has made it harder for marriages to be successful, only 36% of young adults agree.” In our own work, consulting for companies, we often hear younger men talk about the expectation that they will be sharing the parenting responsibilities that historically fell to her alone. While there is clearly more to do, younger men increasingly view working wives as a good bet.
A USA Today article on female breadwinners identified 3 reasons why men today are appreciating their wives’ careers:·
- Education – A better educated woman does not mean she is ‘smarter’ than her man. A wife with an education and a career is a financial asset, and means they won’t be reliant on him alone’.
- Parenting – The role reversal has freed moms who prefer to work and dads who like to nurture, to take on roles that suit their personalities rather than societal expectations.
- Health insurance – In the US, getting medical insurance is a perk of professional jobs, and increasingly is falling to her. When kids arrive, the couple’s decision often involves who has better insurance.
When paired with a professional female, men simply have more options. They can go back to education or retrain, start their own business, leave a dismal job or opt to raise kids. Young men have a unique viewpoint. They increasingly see working women as great partners because of the flexibility with economic stability they can offer, and who doesn’t want that?