The Pros and Cons Of The Role Of Female Breadwinner

Whilst in the process of writing my new book about female breadwinners I was sent this article and it made me realise that women who earn the majority of the family income have more to think about than how to split the childcare. For example many women in this position have found they have to explain themselves to their family who have the traditional view that their partner should be the main breadwinner. As one woman in the article says “my parents were a little baffled by my choice of a husband,” but she is one of the many women who say that instead of blindly following gender scripts she has  arranged her marriage to play up each partner’s individual strengths and build the best life for her family. Other pitfalls these women face are about who manages the finances, and whether her partner’s ego handle his stay at home role. The one that may cause the most stress, which traditionally has been reserved for men is ‘What happens if I lose my job.’ In a survey by 38% of the women surveyed said they worried about cash flow ‘all the time’ and the majority said they were afraid of getting laid off from work. Despite all of this the majority of female breadwinners said they would not trade salaries with their husbands and claimed to be overwhelmingly happy with their choices. One of the big perks is that when a woman has satisfaction in her professional life, it elevates her state of mind and this permeates all areas of her life. Interestingly though 41% say they still do more than half of the household and parenting duties!

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  • Elaine Heyworth

    Hi Suzanne
    My experience was slightly different – it wasn’t my family who had a problem with the “stay at home husband” scenario – but his – they were slightly concerned at his choice of wife! However, like the lady in your article, we have definitely made the best choices for both of us, and are happy with our solution.
    And I’m not the one who is concerned about losing my job – my husband is more worried about it. If I loose my job, I’ll go and get another – he seems to struggle with my confidence in myself (despite evidence that proves it!).

  • Suzanne Doyle-Morris

    Elaine – great comment and unfortunately not that uncommon. Quite a few women I have interviewed have been surprised at family reactions as in “poor him – he’s so good to stay home” type responses rather than the “surely she is so good for going out and working” response. In fact, several of the women mentioned how adored their husbands are by the woman’s own parents. Interesting stuff.