As family dynamics and gender roles continue to evolve, it still seems readily assumed that the primary caretaker in a household will be a woman—regardless of whether we work full-time, part-time or not outside the home at all.
In most cases this assumption still holds true, in fact over 66% of all caretakers are female regardless of our work status. Simultaneously, however, there is another role for women that continues to evolve and gain traction as a growing trend—the rise of female breadwinners.
A study from the Pew Research Center reported that over 40% of all households with children under the age of 18 were led by a woman as the sole or primary breadwinner. This creates a sticky predicament considering acceptance and normalcy has yet to be established on the subject. Conversations in articles and books continue to develop on how to mitigate the threatened feelings and egos of men faced with the reality of female breadwinners.
Celebrate This New Normal
However, it’s okay to be proud of the underlying efforts that shape this new normal. After all, as a group, black women have conferred a record number of bachelors and master degrees over the past 25 years. We are also the largest group participating in the workforce. As a halo effect, this will mean more of us stepping into leadership roles and breaking glass ceilings. Sure there is still plenty of work to be done in terms of closing the wage and wealth gaps, but becoming highly educated and ‘bringing home the bacon’ can only help our journey towards new progress in these areas.
Women Still Pull Double Duty
Yet women haven’t moved out of the kitchen and into the workforce entirely. As a whole, we are still responsible for the majority of chores in our households. In fact, breadwinner women still take on a disproportionate share of the housework as compared to their partners, thus bringing home the bacon and cooking it too. Why is this, considering the vast leaps we’ve made in other areas? One source suggests that as roles have changed men haven’t paid attention to how they can get more involved and should consciously look for opportunities to help pick up the slack.
The Solution For Better Balance
A more realistic solution is for women to simply start asking for more and get specific. There is a lot we haven’t asked for in our rise as breadwinners and matriarchs. So ask for that pay raise and leadership role at work and ask for help with housework and caring for the children. Empower your voice to unequivocally help tip the scales towards better balance at home and equality at work.