What Do Working Women Really Want?

The discussion over what women really want from work/life balance and equality at work continues after a 52-page report published by the Centre for Policy Studies think tank, claims that “Women continue to use marriage as an alternative or supplement to their employment careers.” Dr Catherine Hakim from the London School of Economics says “despite 40 years of reforms to promote gender equality at work, a woman’s financial dependence on a man has lost none of its attractions”. She found that in 1949 20 per cent of women married husbands with significantly higher incomes than their own. Surprisingly by the late 1990s this figure had almost doubled to 38 per cent. It seems that only amongst the ‘highly educated, professional elite’ is the goal of sharing work and childcare popular amongst couples. The report also claims that the gap in pay between the sexes has fallen to as low as 10 per cent today, but that women are choosing not to take advantage of opportunities for equality and are prioritising other areas of their life. The fact that this article in The Telegraph has attracted over 100 comments is proof however, that this is still a contentious subject.

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