rockingyourrole

For women who Rock their Role in work and life

Archive for the category “Law”

Is it easier for women to be breadwinners in Denmark than in the UK?

The guest blog is written by Rachael Sterrett, founder of Getting it write dk she works with companies in Denmark who wish to develop an international focus to their marketing.  Rachael moved to Denmark with her husband and two children in 2011 and started her own company last year.   

Rachael Sterrett

Rachael Sterrett, founder of Getting it write dk

“In Denmark it is not necessary to choose between job and children – it is possible to have both.” Kirstie Wild

In the UK as the number of female breadwinners increases significantly, there is intense debate around the challenges of managing “breadwinner status”, the need for better more cost-effective childcare and demands for more flexible working conditions for both men and women.

However, the social system already in place may put Danish women ahead of the game, facilitating an easier transition into new working roles. Denmark has had a head start on equality for many years and already has very generous maternity benefits, flexible working conditions and affordable high quality childcare.

Kirstie Wild, EU Science Funding Consultant at the Danish Institute for Technology moved to Denmark with her husband and 6 year old twins in December 2008.  Despite planning a career break in Denmark she soon realized that, “It was not necessary to choose job or children – it is possible to have both. The Danish work-life balance is so much better than in the UK.”

In my experience, the economy in Denmark is built on two incomes. There isn’t a term for “breadwinner”, as it is expected that both partners will be working. However, the working conditions and childcare provision also accommodate this. There is very little requirement for parents to attend school events during the day (sports days/nativity plays) alleviating the guilt felt by missing these events, and the stress spent trying to “make” them on time. Danish children are self-reliant from a very early age, with many going to school on their own from the age of 7, relieving parents of “school run” stress.

There is a high degree of self worth amongst Danish women and much less guilt. So what happens when Danish women, despite being equal, start to by-pass their men and earn more than their partners? In the last 15 years women’s share of top earners, the Golden Percentile (gyldne procent), has doubled to 18%. The number of women starting their own businesses has increased to 33% and Denmark is ranked 7 overall for gender equality in the Global Gender Gap Report 2012 (with the UK at 18).

Whilst there is some discussion in the Danish media on the impact of “TopKvinder” (top female earners), there is also notable discussion on the challenge it poses for men. Kenneth Reinicke from Roskilde University is often quoted in articles about gender roles from the male perspective. There is also growing interest in how relationships are affected by changes in earnings. Recent research, In Sickness and in Wealth published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin concluded that Danish men were more likely to suffer from erectile dysfunction when their wives earned marginally more than them, and that women who earned more than their husbands suffered from increased anxiety and insomnia.

So when all things are equal, even in Denmark, the last taboo of women earning more than their partners can still be threatening for some couples remaining hidden from public view behind the closed doors of the bedroom.

Rachael Sterrett, Getting it write dk.

“Jenny has been instrumental in keeping me motivated and focused on my business through monthly coaching sessions during the long winter months”.

 

Feel free to contact me on +44 (0) 844 776 4744 or email jenny@reflexion-uk.co.uk or info@rockingyourrole.com

I am Jenny Garrett, Executive Coach, founder of Reflexion Associates, a leadership and coaching consultancy and author or Rocking Your Role – the how to guide to success for female breadwinners. Find out more about me, my programmes, speaking engagements and training at rockingyourrole.com and sign up for my newsletter

Female Breadwinners – A Resource for you

It’s pleasing to see a small number of courageous women sharing their experience of being a female breadwinner, and those who want to support them. Here are a few:

Divine Caroline – who has taken 10 years to admit that she is the breadwinner

My piece on the fabulous Women Blog on why women should come out of the closet as breadwinner

A further segmenting of female breadwinners focusing on black women who this article states have been the breadwinner for a long time

The breadwinner Mom blog written by Traci Love Feit which shares her experience with her husband who is a stay at home Dad

Here’s a counselling and psychotherapy angle from Anne Marie Hearne which says that resentment, shame and guilt are part of the package for female breadwinners

The female breadwinners debate  from Women of HR

Lastly, a blog about female breadwinners and the law, shockingly some women are losing their children when they become divorced

Lot’s of good reading.  If any strike a chord with you or if indeed you disagree with any of them, please feel free to share your thoughts.

Enjoy your Saturday

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Throughout the month of June, I will be sending out daily inspiration and tips for female breadwinners, sign up to my newsletter to ensure that you receive them direct to your inbox

My book Rocking Your Role – the ‘how to’ guide to success for Female Breadwinners, will be out on 28th June 2012

If you want to chat, gain support and read the latest from other female breadwinners, join my Rocking Your Role LinkedIn Group

Tweet me @jennifergarrett

www.reflexion-uk.co.uk

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