In 1960, at the beginning of the modern women’s liberation movement, women were certainly not new to the workforce, but just 11% of working moms were the primary supporters of their families. Today, working mothers are the primary breadwinners in 40% of U.S. households with children. It’s a paradigm shift that many American women hope will finally smash the glass ceiling once and for all and create true financial equality in the workplace.
The new statistics arose from the latest Pew Research Center study on the influence of breadwinner moms on the economy and the implications for American families. While the majority of families in which the mother provided the primary financial support for her family were single-parent homes, the Pew study found that among married couples a growing number of wives are taking the financial lead, out-earning their husbands.
Numerous factors are responsible for the shift in family support, but the Great Recession played a major role. Traditionally male jobs in construction and manufacturing suffered the worst cuts in the early years of the recession while traditionally female jobs remained largely unaffected. In many families, layoffs put husbands out of work with many men remaining unemployed for months, even years. By default, mothers became the primary breadwinners and, in many families, have remained so despite the uptick in male-dominated jobs.
Experts consider the trend irreversible although not everyone, including many working parents, is convinced that it’s a good thing. There is concern about how the change in family financial responsibility will affect family dynamics and what impact it will have on children. Government safety nets and potential new child-care policies are the subject of discussion in Washington and across the country.
Job opportunities that allow women to better balance work and family have been increasing with the rise of virtual employment and consulting and freelancing jobs. Many mothers are using Zoondy to launch home businesses. Click here to find out how Zoondy works; then sign up to beta test Zoondy at https://zoondy.com/.
To be continued