For women who Rock their Role in work and life

Archive for the category “Stay at home Dads”

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 or

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 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 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 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:

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

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 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 and sign up for my newsletter

Stay at home Dads / Female Breadwinners – Two sides of the same coin?


What a week its been for families.

The European Commission revealed research which showed that there has been growth of 10% in Female breadwinners during the economic crisis, and official employment statistics revealed this week also showed that  men now make up nearly 10 per cent of those who care for children while their partner goes out to work.

The Telegraph initially picked up this story and I was interviewed by Emma Sinclair  from their Wonder Women feature, she questioned Why Female Breadwinners are still Taboo. This was followed quickly by Sam Marsden who featured the story on the Rise in Stay At Home Fathers being fuelled by the growth of Female Breadwinners on front page of the Telegraph

Marie Claire, the Daily Mail and even the Wall Street Examiner quickly picked up on the story

Why is this news worthy, i hear you groan?

Because it seems that an important maybe transformation shift might just be taking place right under our noses.

The reason could be that traditionally male dominated sectors, such as construction and finance have been hardest hit by the recession and so men are finding themselves out of work, having to retrain or sit it out until things improve. It could also be that women are ‘cheap‘ and when making tough decisions about cost, a woman doing the same job will cost you around 82% of what a man would have done.

However, there may be something more fundamental than a temporary or circumstantial blip taking place, men and women may be actually being honest about what they enjoy.  If you are a man who has been slogging it out for many years in a career that you don’t enjoy and perhaps been an almost absent father, why shouldn’t you be able to put all of your energy into home making, without being teased by your friends, treated in fascination by the yummy mummies at the playgroup or called lazy by the older generation?

If you are a woman who has felt unvalued by employers because you work part-time, or may inconvenience them by having a baby at some point.  Or felt that you couldn’t leave your children as you didn’t have childcare that you could trust, how wonderful to now have a stay at home Dad to rely on.

The truth is being the breadwinner is hard whether you are the man or woman, however women take on more of the household and caring responsibilities whatever their role. They also feel guilty about not giving their all in and outside the home, whereas men appear to be more focused in their approach and don’t carry the guilt so heavily on their shoulders.

It seems we have a lot to learn from each other, but it starts with accepting that roles are changing and that its OK. I would argue that it is still taboo and that when a woman tells you that hubby is at home with the kids you search for an explanation for it.  For some reason there needs to be an excuse, we should stop searching for this.

Breadwinning is easy when there is enough money to go around, but much harder when the bread you win isn’t enough.  Let’s face it there has to be some pay off!

My wish is that we just make it easier – easier for women and men to have flexible working, easier for families to craft the balance they want traditional or not. Fundamentally men and women will need some help adapting to these roles, navigating the work place and their lives in a way that is radically different.

This freedom will bring choices, let’s hope we make the right ones.

Have your say on the subject of Breadwinners, please complete and share this survey  by 31st January, 2013

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.

Leadership Success programme for Women – 4th March, 2013

Want to live in state of contentment, happiness and abundance in 2013?

Want to:

  • feel truly present at work and in your family roles?
  • Have ‘me’ time?
  • Feel that you have choices?
  • That you can share the responsibility and it’s not all down to you?
  • Be guilt- free?

This one day programme is designed to help you Rock Your Roles in life

BOOK NOW early bird ends 14th Jan, 2013



Andrew Priestley – international speaker and award winning coach will share the ten money managing skills that WILL make a profound difference to your relationship with money

Joanna Pieters – founder of Time Wizard will share how to choose, use and manage outsourcing to help you succeed at home and at work

Amber Khan – wellness mentor and author will set you on the path to living a guilt-free life

Jenny Garrett – executive coach, speaker and author will practical steps to move you from struggling and juggling to rocking your roles in life

Find out more about us here



  • How to have the ‘money’ conversation that you’ve been avoiding
  • Improve your communication
  • How your leadership preference is impacting your communication
  • How to avoid the pitfalls that most Women Breadwinners fall into
  • Strategies to succeed and feel in control


Who is it for:

Women who are the primary earner in their home

Women entrepreneurs

Women executives

***LImited to 8 particpants***

Programme Overview:

The aim of the programme is to help women like you, lead themselves to success:

Using the 12-step process designed by Jenny Garrett from her work coaching hundreds of women and outlined in the research in her book Rocking Your Role, you will:

  • Focus on your Personal and Professional Leadership skills
  • Increase your critical leadership skill of Self-Awareness
  • Understand the Emotions that may be holding you back
  • Embrace your Femininity as a strength
  • Celebrate Success
  • Action Plan


  • Increased Confidence in your ability to cope and succeed
  • Freedom from the shackles of guilt, resentment and shame
  • Improved sense of psychological, physical and spiritual Well-Being
  • Sense of Direction and Purpose
  • Community and Belonging through the Support of the group
  • An ILM (Institute of Leadership & Management) certificate

What have you got to lose?

No quibble money back guarantee if you dont find the day valuable

What participants have said:


A fabulous, supportive, empowering course for female breadwinners and entrepreneurs to share ideas

Hannah Foxley, Women’s Wealth Expert

Empowering and an eye opener

Aina Khan, Family Law Consultant


Enlightening, delicate, but rich

Cherryl Martin, CMO with FTSE 100 Marketing, Sales and Business Performance Expertise


Reflective of my needs

Caroline Peryagh, Director, Global Client Strategy

Book Now ***LImited to 8 participants*** early bird ends 14th January, 2013

See for more about Jenny, her speaking engagements and events.

Please complete this survey on Breadwinners – (Men and women) will only take a few mins

We’d like to hear from you whether you’re a male or female breadwinner, or otherwise! All of your opinions are of huge value to us, whatever your work experience/background

The research findings will be disseminated in my key note speech at the Women in Business Conference at the University of Surrey on March 13th 2013 and subsequent media.

The survey is anonymous, but you have the opportunity to leave your details (name and email/telephone number) to be entered into a draw to win:

**A place on the Rocking Your Role: Female Breadwinners Leadership Success programme + 2 x one hour Skype Coaching sessions valued at £295

**Or the alternative prize of 3 x one hour Skype Coaching sessions directly with Jenny Garrett

**Plus there are five runners up prizes of a copy of Rocking Your Role, the how to guide to success for female

Please feel free to share the survey for others to complete – we’d like to get as a wide a sample of responses as possible

Any questions, get in touch

0844 776 4744

Newspaper would like you to share your story #female breadwinners #women breadwinners

Newspaper journalist is looking for a case study of a woman who works longer hours in a better paid job, while her partner picks up the slack at home.

She wants to do a balanced, sympathetic piece about how gender roles are changing.

She understands this is a personal subject and the case study would need to be happy to be named, but hopefully we can look at why their set-up works for them in a really positive light. She already has another two case studies – one who employs her husband and one who is a female bodybuilder and works out all the time, while her husband doesn’t do any exercise. The idea is to talk about woman adopting the stereotypically more ‘male’ role and the benefits / drawbacks of doing so.
She could offer a full read through of quotes used and a payment on publication – although only something small like £100 for your time
If you fit the bill and it’s of interest, contact me

Money, Money, Money in a rich woman’s world

Many British couples are burying their heads in the sand over their financial situations. One in seven1 (14 per cent) couples over the age of 40 – or around 4.22 million people – admit they have never discussed their finances, according to new research from Prudential.
Fears about having awkward conversations drives this behaviour, with 15 per cent of those surveyed admitting they feel uncomfortable talking to their partners about financial planning.
A concern that these conversations will boil over into arguments is another reason that couples avoid talking about their finances – money is the third most likely subject to cause arguments among couples, with nearly one in four (23 per cent) claiming that they fight over finances, ahead of work (10 per cent), and politics and religion (5 per cent). Only household chores (27 per cent) and disputes about family (30 per cent) are more likely to cause disagreements.
Even for the majority of couples who do discuss their retirement plans, long-term issues are likely to be side-lined, as short-term everyday expenses take priority. Daily living costs and household bills are regularly discussed by the majority of couples (60 per cent and 52 per cent respectively), and one in three couples (34 per cent) speak about the costs of home improvements, large purchases and luxuries.
However, discussions about long-term planning are far less prevalent, with only 16 per cent of couples claiming to regularly talk about retirement income and pension planning. Only three per cent of couples claim they have had conversations about inheritance planning and tax.
Vince Smith-Hughes, retirement expert at Prudential said: “Money can be a tough topic to discuss at the best of times. Many couples prefer to steer clear of conversations about finances, and especially discussions about longer-term issues like retirement which might feel light-years away.

When was the last time you spoke to your partner about money? Unfortunately, sex and money are the subjects least spoken about in relationships. Left un-discussed, the issue of money can lead to resentment, shame and guilt all seething under the surface.

As a female breadwinner, in an effort not to emasculate or disempower you may have chosen to avoid money conversations with your partner, leaving you with the full weight of responsibility. On the other hand you might have thought it unnecessary to talk and behave as you like because it’s your cash, assuming that your partners silence means that it is OK.

Whatever the dynamic, conversations about money need to happen so you and your family can live a much richer life. In my book Rocking Your Role: The how to guide to success for female breadwinners I provide a framework for that conversation. Here are a few tips from female breadwinners I have met.

Identify attitudes– defining attitudes towards money is a good way to get the conversation started. Are you the same or different from your partner? If you don’t share the same values talking will help draw out some of the tensions. If you are too similar it might be better to discuss what you can both do differently to make the most out of money.

Make it practical – put all emotions aside and make money about practicality rather than power. You are in a great position to use your voice to break down taboos and decide what money means to your family.

Work as a unit – make choices about how you use and manage money together- a family unit can’t have people moving in different directions.

Join up accounts? – a joint account is one option that doesn’t work for everyone, it can make household and family spending a joint decision rather than a point of contention. Money can move freely and it doesn’t have to be divided up so obviously. You can always put money aside in a separate account as well.

Money conversations can help you make the right decisions about who manages it, what purchases and investments are made and how to build a future for your family. What happens as a result might surprise you! One woman I spoke to felt that women needed to earn at least equal to their partners to have an equal say in the relationship!

Talking about money is the only way to destroy the power it holds over us. It can be uncomfortable, embarrassing and stressful for everyone involved but having it out in the open is better than letting resentments fester on both sides.

Be the brave and courageous lioness I know that you are and start the conversation. Let me know how you get on!

I am Jenny Garrett, Executive Coach, founder of Reflexion Associates, a leadership and coaching consultancy and author or Rocking Your Role – I help professional working women move from struggling and juggling to rocking their many roles in life. Find out more about me, my programmes, speaking engagements and training at

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