rockingyourrole

For women who Rock their Role in work and life

Archive for the category “Relationships”

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

Can you really love your children and career equally?

Working Mum

Working Mum

A Global LinkedIn study of Women@Work, has revealed how Mums feel about family and career

  • 53% of women love their children and career equally
  • 25% of women love their children, but say they could never be a stay at home Mum
  • 22% of women love their job, but if they had a choice would be a stay at home

The response may partly be informed by who was asked, after all I am not sure how many stay at home Mums bother to engage in LinkedIn, it’s target audience is business and corporates.

I am curious about the 1st statistic, to ‘love’ work and your children equally, what does that look like?

I have to admit that I am in the 25% bracket, which means that I am coming from that perspective.

However the unconditional love that I feel for my child can’t compete with a career I also love, I can’t see how it could?

You can have a passion for your career, a mission, a crusade, but can this really match the fruit of your loins?  In fact it’s the love for my child that spurs me on to be better at work, after all I am a role model, leaving a legacy  for her.

Work can give you so much: status, financial security, power, friendship, but it doesn’t have your DNA, it doesn’t still love you when you are at your worst, work is often unforgiving and relentlessly demanding.

Let’s not confuse one type of love with another, or we’ll really be in trouble!

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

The Big Flip

Izzy Chan is looking to make a documentary about families where the women is the main earner in the US.
I must admit that I usually scoff at these because they seem sensationalised and producers are looking for extreme alpha females.
However from Izzy’s slides her emphasis is on families and making it work, as is mine.

Take a look,  it’s a great summary of where women breadwinners are in their journey, the fact that we are on the cusp of the ‘Big Flip’ .

Also let me know what you think of the term she has for Stay at Home Dads: Home Guardian Husbands – what do you think, any better?

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

Let’s talk about sex baby

I think that female breadwinners are experiencing a real push back on their success.
Whenever real change is occurring, there are always some people who fight against it to maintain the status quo.
However, the current media messages are damning:

Divorce
Female Breadwinners are 40% more likely to divorce their lower earning partners than men with lower earning partners.

Cheating
Men who are completely economically dependent on their female partners are five times more likely to cheat.

We are still doing the lions share of the house work
On an average day, 83 percent of women and 65 percent of men spend some 
time doing household activities such as housework, cooking, lawn care, or
 financial and other household management.

Women cant have it all

Anne Marie-Slaughter concluded that juggling high-level government work with the needs of two teenage boys was not possible.

No Sex
To add insult to injury, men now have problems in the bedroom due to us. According to a study of 25,000 men in Denmark,  husbands who earn less than their wives are more likely to use erectile dysfunction medication than those who had a traditional breadwinner role, even when there is only a small difference.

A woman, six minutes into the video below, argues that if she was a stay at home Mum she’d have more energy for sex.  I think she’s kidding herself, because being covered in baby drool, with no adult conversation doing household chores has never made me feel sexy, but maybe I’m special!!

So what do you think? Is your sex life suffering because you are the female breadwinner or a man who is earning less than his partner?  Is everyones sex life suffering because we haven’t got out lives in balance at the moment? Is your sex the more virile due to being the female breadwinner? How do female breadwinners continue against this push back? I’d love to know what you think.

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

5 Reasons Why Women Feel So Guilty

Amber Khan is one of the guest speakers on my Women’s Leadership Success programme taking place on 4th March, 2013

Below she shares her thoughts on why women feel so guilty.

9a59560be6535da6ef20b75b7a52d073Women can feel guilty about any & everything. For many women, the driving force in their lives is guilt. Somewhere along the way, it all becomes a matter of doing it all.

According to a daily mail article, a survey has found that more than 96 per cent of women feel guilty at least once a day, while for almost half, the feeling strikes up to four times a day.

Women tend to…

  • Be perfectionists. You feel guilty because you feel as though you have to live up to unrealistic expectations, and you cannot make mistakes.
  • Blame themselves. If you fail at even the slightest thing, you start to blame yourself for not being good enough. Then you feel guilty for being somehow “lesser than” all those women/mothers who seem to be doing it right.
  • Can’t say No. Throughout history, women have been those who pleased others. Admit it we are people pleasers. Even when you really want to say NO, the only 3 letter word which comes out of your mouth is YES. If you do say No, the feeling immediately turns into guilt.
  • Put others first. We care for our partners, families, friends & co-workers. We do & buy things for them but feel guilty when we consider those things for ourselves or even to take time out for ourselves.
  • Be control freak. We tend to take responsibility of everything at work or at home and shy away from delegating chores. Why? Because we are afraid of losing control. We’d rather boast about our multi-tasking skills than face the music of feeling ill, stressed, overweight & exhausted.

The guilt builds and builds until it becomes not a consequence, but rather, that driving force that keeps you moving forward even as a little piece of you is screaming to slow down, take a deep breath, take it easy, and don’t let life sweep you away with the tidal wave.

Do you recognise any of the above traits in yourself, found yourself nodding away to some?

Come along to the Women’s Leadership Success programme to find strategies to ditch the guilt

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.comand sign up for my newsletter

What’s your legacy as a woman breadwinner?

You are leaving a lasting legacy

You are leaving a lasting legacy

Here are a couple of responses I had from women on being the breadwinner recently:

I see myself as a role model for my niece, that you can’t leave it all up to a man. You have to be able to support yourself and if need be your family.

I know not to say I am the main bread winner, this seems to be a thing of shame to my male partners family and they would never acknowledge or talk about it. People still talk as if the money is his and I spend it – which is strange.

What sort of legacy are you leaving as a female breadwinner? Is it positive where you exude confidence, are happy and helping to establish a new normal? Or is it negative where you’re stressed, burdened and angry with your lot?

Coping with the highs and lows of financial independence, balancing traditional roles with new ones and remembering to take care of yourself isn’t easy. But you should bear in mind that however you choose to manage these challenges, your actions will leave a legacy for those that follow in your footsteps.

If you haven’t reflected on the legacy you leave or how you’re a role model and have influence over others, this is a good time to start. Think about it, if you were teaching someone to drive you would show them how to do it well and model your best self. It’s the same with showing the world how to be a female breadwinner. You need to display best practice whenever you can.

How you choose to be in the role of breadwinner has a significant effect on those around you. In my book Rocking Your Role: the ‘how to’ guide to success for female breadwinners I spoke to women main earners that were leaving a positive legacy for those that follow by making their corner of the world work.

Here are a few points I picked up:

Enjoy it – have pride in what you are doing even if it happened by accident or is a temporary situation. Ditch the guilt around being a female breadwinner and try to enjoy your role. This will give others the confidence to do so too.

Set your own terms– the role of main earner is traditionally male and you may work in a male dominated area, but that doesn’t mean you have to act like one. Let go of other’s assumptions to formulate the unique vision of you. You can be a main earner on your own terms; you just need to brave enough to set them.

Avoid superwoman syndrome– when you try to do it all and present an image that nothing has to give when juggling family and work you send out the wrong message. It’s an impossible charade that hurts you and the people that look up to you.

Stay healthy- if you want future female main earners to have a good sense of well-being, to feel physically and mentally healthy then you should place these things high on the agenda for yourself.

Embrace femininity– it can be hard to be able to display feminine characteristics in a traditional male role or even at work with many male colleagues but don’t shun them. It can send the wrong message to our daughters, sisters and nieces as well as the males in our lives.

As a female breadwinner you are one of the new breed of women that the world is watching. Whether you like it or not you now wear the badge of trendsetter or pioneer – so why not use your new position of power to encourage a positive legacy to help future female main earners? Give it a try and see the difference it makes to those around you.

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.comand sign up for my newsletter

Floella Benjamins 4 C’s philosophy on life

Floella Benjamin

At the age of 64 Floella Benjamin is still lively and youthful. For those of my generation Floella is best known for being a presenter on the children’s TV show Play School

What you might not know is that on 28 June 2010, Lady Benjamin was introduced to the House of Lords as a Life Peer nominated by the Liberal Democrats with title Baroness Benjamin, of Beckenham in the County of Kent.

In this role Floella is a campaigner for families and especially children. I met Floella once, the experience evoked so many childhood memories that I babbled like a schoolgirl and she politely and kindly smiled at me – I imagine this happens to her all the time.

This week Floella led a talk on Women in the 21st Century at the House of Lords, which I joined online. She shared her 4 C’s philosophy for life and I am sharing them with you below:

1 – Consideration – not to be judgemental – you never know what others situations are, just because they are not reacting in the way you want them to, or by your rules, it doesn’t mean that it’s personal.

2 – Contentment – have a happy and contented heart – don’t be jealous of others, instead learn to live with less. She asked ‘Why are we neglecting our children, why do we always want more?’

3 – Confidence – have high self esteem, high self worth – you need to be able to look in the mirror and say I like that person looking back at me. The more you give, the more you will receive, even if that wasn’t your intention.

4 – Courage – stand up for truth – always stand up for what your believe in!

Floella also mentioned the specific challenges that women have, such as being invisible in the workplace and she said that black women may have to take their foot off the accelerator so not as to be perceived as aggressive in the work place.

Her comment that most resonated with me was ‘women are like babies, throw them in the deep end and they’ll survive’

So what do you think about Floella’s 4C’s? It”s likely one will stand out for you that you will particularly need to work on. Take a look and work out why and what you might need to do.

Looking at 64 year old Floella, this philosophy obviously has anti ageing effects, so its worth a try!

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

How to make your Marriage more Exciting

Happy Couple sitting under a treeAny long-term relationship will need invigorating at some point. Busy lives, children, work and the drudgery of life (by drudgery I mean housework) can really get in the way of focusing on your relationship.
Before you know it, you haven’t really spoken in a week. Ships passing in the night, living in the same home, but having a pretty transactional relationship, or just too tired to engage and taking each other for granted.

Here are 5 ways to make your Marriage more Exciting

1. Discover together
Whether it’s a new restaurant, new country, new sport or new hobby, discover something that neither of you have tried nor experienced before and go for it. This will provide you with something different to talk about and share, you are likely to realize that there is still more to learn about each other.

2. Nurture
You don’t expect your plants to survive without water, or your friends to keep calling if you take no interest in them, do you? In the same way your partnership cant thrive without some commitment to helping it grow and develop. Regular date nights, even if they are at home with a movie and a picnic on your living room floor are critical for reconnecting.

3. Look and feel ‘hot’
I know you want to relax when you get home, slip on that onesie and a pair of slippers, but what does that do for your marriage? If you feel your best, your partner will sense that and make the effort also, helping you to rekindle your attraction to each other.

4. Reminisce
Perhaps you have kids who have taken over most of your daytime hours, or are working or studying hard. With these demands it’s easy to forget the good times and what interested you about partner in the first place. You could watch your wedding video, look at old photos, or revisit the music you both loved when you first met. This will reawaken the emotions you felt when you were first together.

5. Create a sanctuary
Have a space in your home where distractions such as mobile phones and TV’s are not allowed, so that you can focus on each other. Talking, listening and relaxing in comfort, nurturing your friendship.

Marriage is a marathon not a sprint, so don’t think that you can do this for a week and then forget about it. It’s a continual commitment that will reap real rewards. Give it a try.

I’ll leave you with a quote from Barbara de Angelis

Marriage is not a noun; it’s a verb. It isn’t something you get. It’s something you do. It’s the way you love your partner every day.

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

Are you a Diva on Demand?

I recently had the pleasure of being asked to be a guest speaker at the 2nd Divas on Demand event at the Museum of London .

Divas on Demand is a networking society that gathers like minded professionals every month to discuss various topics.

The topic for the night I attended was Secrets of Successful women, with themes of relationships and spirituality running through it.

Image of Lexy, Claudia Liza and Jenny Garrett

My fellow speakers were the lovely energetic and vivacious Claudia Liza who is a BBC Three presenter, and exceptionally beautiful Gemma Feare, Miss Jamaica UK

Divas on Demand Panel - Claudia Liza, Gemma Feare and Jenny Garrett

Jenny Garrett speakingView of the audience at Divas on Demand

After, Claudia, Gemma and I shared what we believed were secrets of successful women, questions were addressed to us from the audience, ranging from advice to young women looking for a partner to what we’d say to our 15 years old selves.

It was great fun, in a supportive and encouraging environment.

If you haven’t been along to a Divas on Demand event yet, I highly recommend it…. and it seems men can be Divas too, because many attended.

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

How to Be the Most Organized Person in the World (Infographic)

I came across this fabulous infographic via Skirts and Ladders, a new network led by Lily Dey, designed to release the potential of early career women and accelerate their journeys as future leaders.

I was very flattered to learn that Lily has read Rocking Your Role, and chosen it to launch the Skirts and Ladders book club taking place on 12th February, 2013 at Canary Wharf,to find out more go to the Skirts and Ladders website.

Be the most organized person in the world

More Health and Fitness News & Tips at Greatist.

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

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