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New Report On Breadwinning Moms Finds Majority Of Women Surveyed Became Primary Earners By Chance, 29% By Choice

By-Chance Breadwinning Moms Much Less Satisfied with Division of At-Home Tasks, But Report High Satisfaction Rates with Their Partner

NEW YORK, Feb. 11, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Working Mother Media has released a new survey on the impact that being the family's primary earner has on breadwinning moms' views of career, marriage and motherhood, finding that a majority (71%) of breadwinning moms surveyed fell into their primary earner role by chance. The survey also found that breadwinning dads are far more likely to be pleased by their status than breadwinning moms, 75% to 46% respectively.

Breadwinning Moms: The Working Mother Report in partnership with PwC, emerges on the heels of the 2013 Pew Report, which found that in 40% of U.S. households with kids, women are now the primary breadwinner (almost two thirds of those are single moms).

Highlights of the survey of 2,000 working moms and dads:

  • Only 29% of moms surveyed became the breadwinners by choice vs. 59% of the dads.  The majority of breadwinning moms who made a conscious decision with their partners to be the main earner in the family reported that they are more ambitious than their husbands (87%), more dedicated to their careers (75%) or more likely to be promoted (85%)

  • Breadwinning moms (74%) and dads (72%) both say they believe society still remains more comfortable with men as the primary earners, even post-recession.

  • As a result, breadwinning dads are more pleased by their status than their female peers. Seventy-two percent of male primary earners are satisfied with their spouse's contribution to the family's finances while only 58% of the female breadwinners are.  A total 22% of the breadwinning moms believe their partners should make a bigger monetary contribution to the family and 21% would prefer their partner be the primary earner, while only 2% of the dads felt that way.

  • The report finds moms are less satisfied than dads with how at-home tasks are divided by a 16-percentage-point margin (60% vs. 76%). However, both men and women report a relatively high satisfaction level with their relationship with their partner: 80% for the dads vs. 72% for the moms.

The full survey results can be found here on workingmother.com.

Carol Evans, president of Working Mother Media and herself a long-time breadwinning mom, says, "Modern financial realities make the increase in breadwinning moms a win/win phenomenon for families as long as it meshes with their expectations of career, marriage and motherhood."  However, she says, "Society needs to catch up with the changing economy and the role that more and more women are playing in their family's finances."

Jennifer Allyn, managing director for diversity strategy at PwC, which sponsored the study, notes, "The study provides important insights into the role choice plays in driving satisfaction. And yet, social expectations continue to get in the way."

Jennifer Owens, editorial director of Working Mother Media, says, "I know from experience, and from our readers, that co-parenting and co-housework is not the future—it is the now for increasing numbers of families. Mothers are born leaders and innovators—and we're changing not only the way work looks, but home life, too." 

About the Methodology
The Working Mother Research Institute developed the national survey. Bonnier Custom Insights received and tabulated the 2,000 responses, which were analyzed by Maria S. Ferris Consulting. Breadwinners were defined as those who make more than their spouses. The demographics of the 2,000 respondents were: 50/50 male female, 51% professional/technical/manager with an average age of 38. The group was 75% married with an annual income of $85,600.

About Working Mother Media Working Mother Media, a division of Bonnier Corporation (bonnier.com), publishes Working Mother magazine and its companion website, workingmother.com, and the Working Mother Research Institute. The National Association for Female Executives (nafe.com), Diversity Best Practices (diversitybestpractices.com) are also units within WMM. Working Mother Media's mission is to serve as a champion of culture change. Working Mother magazine reaches more than 2 million readers and is the only national magazine for career-committed mothers; Workingmother.com gives working mothers @home and @work advice, solutions, and ideas. The magazine's signature research initiative, the Working Mother 100 Best Companies, is published annually in the October/November issue of the magazine. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and Pinterest.

SOURCE Working Mother Media

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