An article on how men are increasingly sharing the burden of household chores reminded me of a question I had from an audience member recently, when presenting on my new book “Female Breadwinners”. The woman asked: “If you are a female breadwinner, how do you avoid attracting male slackers?” We had a good laugh, and this article in the Telegraph just the week earlier reminded me that while many men are stepping up on the domestic front, far too many are still “slacking”!
Whilst men seem to have happily adopted the role of “chef” possibly imagining themselves the next Jamie Oliver or Gordon Ramsey, they still shy away from doing the laundry, in fact spending only 4 minutes a day on average on this task. So where do all those clean and ironed shirts magically appear from?
According to research at Oxford University the gap between how much time men and women spend on household chores is narrowing. With women now spending on average five hours 55 minutes a day on employment and chores, compared with a man’s five hours 37 minutes. However, men are still doing more hours in the office than women and we do more hours in the home, the average man now spends two hours 28 minutes on domestic duties compared with the woman’s four hours 40 minutes. With the gap closing at a rate of 27 minutes per decade there is still a way to go.
If the trend continues there will come a time when men work more hours – with the combination of paid hours and household chores hours – than women. Don’t expect them to get good at laundry any time soon though!
My new book on Female Breadwinners discusses in more detail how modern couples are addressing the split of chores in the household, and how it affects their relationship. You can buy your copy online here. I’d love your comments on how chores are split in your household, and whether you are noticing this shift in your household.