rockingyourrole

For women who Rock their Role in work and life

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

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Women breadwinners could save Japan by Akane Odake

I am so pleased to feature this guest blog from Akane Odake. Akane is a Japanese journalist who attended one of my talks and has kindly written an enlightening blog on attitudes to Women Breadwinners in Japan.

Akane Odake

Akane Odake Japanese Journalist

I was really surprised by the fact that in the UK men now make up nearly 10% of those who care for children while their partner goes to work, a result of rise in female breadwinners. In Japan, where I am from, such cases are extremely rare. (I could not find an exact number, and seems like this kind of data may not even exist.)

Japanese gender equality is sadly low; according to the latest Global Gender Gap Report by the World Economic Forum (WEF), it ranks 101 out of 135 countries.

One of the many reasons for this low rank is due to the lack of women in the workforce. Because of insufficient childcare, long working hours, and traditional views on gender roles, nearly 70% of Japanese women leave their jobs after having their first child. As a result, the pay gap between men and women remains huge in Japan.

Gender Pay Gap Japan

Graph showing the gender pay gap in Japan

I remember that when I was working in Tokyo, there were several working mothers at my office. Generally, their husbands do not have much time to take care of their children, since they work crazily long hours. As a result, most of the burden of childcare was on the working mothers. They go to kindergartens in the morning to drop their children off, come to work, go back to kindergartens around 5pm to pick them up and then take care of their children alone until their husbands come home around 9 or 10pm, continuing the work the mothers could not finish at the office. They seemed to be super busy all the time. Looking at them, I thought it was impossible for me to keep my job and raise children at the same time.

However, there is a sign of change, or to be more exact, there is a need for change, too. As Japan has the world’s fastest ageing society and is rapidly losing its working population, people have started to realise that women’s participation in the workforce is necessary to boost the economy. In fact, Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of IMF, told reporters “women could actually save Japan”. Of course, there is so much to be done to make it possible, such as better pay, a more flexible work culture, better childcare, changing traditional view on gender roles, just to list a few.

Coming from that kind of country, attending Jenny’s book reading and being surrounded by so many female breadwinners was like finding myself in a world of science fiction. At the same time, it was really refreshing to know that if the situation allows, women can keep working and make money like men do. (Yes, the belief of “women are not good at business” is still widespread in Japan…) I really hope that like me, more Japanese women can receive a positive influence from British female role models and help move Japan toward progress in the near future.

You can contact Akane on odake.akane@gmail.com

Or feel free to contact me on +44 (0) 844 776 4744 or email jenny@reflexion-uk.co.uk

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

Mum who is the main breadwinner and a Dad who supports the rest of the family needed for leading washing brand video

I have been contacted by Candid Casting who are seeking a real family with a working Mum and stay at home/part time working Dad for a leading washing brand’s video.

Time is of the essence as they will be shooting this on 20th and 21st April !

Here are the details, please contact them (not me) for any further information as I am just passing or their enquiry and have no involvement in this:

‘Exciting opportunity to share your real life stories in a documentary-style video for a leading brand of detergent!  We are looking for busy, active families with two or more children aged 5-13.  We need a Mum who is the main breadwinner and a Dad who supports the rest of the family.  This doesn’t involve any acting as we want your real stories and personalities to shine!  If you, or any friends fit the bill, please contact Claire on 0207 490 8882/ Claire@candidcasting.co.uk.

Please send a family photo and give us a brief description of your home and work situation.  You will be compensated for your time and given a copy of the finished film to share with all the family!’

Many thanks in advance!

Claire Bleasdale

Candid Casting

How I became one of LinkedIn UK’s Top 10 Power Women

Top 10 LinkedIn Uk Power Women

The UK’s Most engaged Women on LinkedIn

I was delighted to be contacted by LinkedIn UK last week, and be advised that I was one of their Top 10 Power Women !

As you can imagine, I was surprised, LinkedIn has over 10 million members in the UK, so this really is an accolade.

I am not sure if there is a magic pill to getting on to this list, but I’d like to share with you what I think enabled me to be chosen:

1. A full profile.

That includes as much detail as you want to share, what you do, qualifications, presentations, videos and it must include a photo of you.  Let your personality shine through

Health Warning: People do not trust profiles without images.  It also helps you to be memorable. Get that photo uploaded today

2. Group Creation.

I have set up three groups, which I manage.

What I love about groups is that you bring your tribe together.  You attract people who are interested in the same things that you are.  Groups are a great source of ideas, feedback, challenge and support.  Here are my groups, feel free to join one of them if it’s of interest to you:

Health Warning: Groups do take quite a lot of work to get off the ground, you will need to stimulate conversation, you may even be talking to yourself for a while until your group members decide they want to interact.  You will also need to respond to an ever growing number of comments, but its worth it.

3. Consistency

People will need to see you regularly to get to know you, you should really be posting daily.  Secondly your message should be consistent.

Health Warning: If one of your posts appears conservative and another outrageous, the audience wont trust this schizophrenic behaviour. Use your authentic voice.

4.  Quality posting

Join groups that are of interest to you, comment on others posts and start discussions.

Health warning:  Don’t just post your blogs or relevant articles without comment, add your opinion or a question to demonstrate why you are posting and your perspective.

What does success look like?

Well I attended an event recently and a chap came up to me who I’d never met before and said,

‘I know you, you are Jenny Garrett who post interesting articles on … LinkedIn group, you have a book Rocking Your Role’

I had never met him, but he knew me, all through the power of my LinkedIn profile!

Secrets of a LinkedIn Uk Top 10 Power Woman

To celebrate my Top 10 Power Woman status, I am running a one off online session in which I will share with you my LinkedIn success secrets.

You will learn:

*How to create a memorable profile

*How buzzing and thriving groups are crafted

*How to be consistently present on Linked, while only taking a few minutes your day

*How to make LinkedIn work for you

The price is only £49 and the session will take place on 1st May at 12pm GMT

Pre work and Post Session tips will be provided, as a well as a copy of the presentation.

Book here

The session will be recorded, so you can book and watch it later if you cant make the date and time.

**Please note that this is a one off sharing of my expertise, I will not be repeating this session**

Any questions get in touch +44 (0) 844 776 4744 or email jenny@reflexion-uk.co.uk

The gentler side of Pakistan?

Muna is one of the mentees on the Cherie Blair Foundation programme, that supports female entrepreneurs in developing countries. She has written a blog to show her view of Pakistan on International Womens Day, which differs from all the bad press we have read recently.

Muna’s Craft Company: Women’s Day in Pakistan

Enjoy the read, it’s enlightening and contains some of her beautiful crafts.

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

Women – do you value work-life balance more than salary and position? LinkedIn says you do

This really interesting study via LinkedIn has revealed Global Trends for Women and Work

  • Womens definition of professional success has changed in the last 5-10 years
  • Work-life balance is more highly valued than salary and position
  • Women are concerned about a lack of investment in their ‘professional development’ and ‘lack of a clear career path’

Work-Life balance is key for working women and working families and will be very individual. How do you balance that with wanting to drive your career forward.  Is wanting balance still seen very much as  a lack of commitment to your role and career?  are we really willing to sacrifice income for balance, or is that only when we are already financially secure?

How do you get the right balance for you, join the Rocking Your Role LinkedIn group to discuss this further

See the full slideshow presentation below:

 

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

Lean In with…….Chocolate

Sheryl Sandberg Lean In groups

Sheryl Sandberg Lean In groups

There has been a lot of talk about Sheryl Sandberg’s new book, telling women to ‘Lean in’.  By encouraging women to ‘lean in’, Sheryl is encouraging women not to sabotage their own careers by shying away from the top jobs, but lean in to the opportunities instead.  I was interested to find that she is planning to launch ‘Lean in’ groups for women.

This is a great idea, although Inge Woudstra from Mum & Career and I had thought of it first!

We are running 3 hour Saturday morning sessions where women can benefit from networking and putting strategies together to advance their personal and professional lives.

These sessions will be expertly facilitated by us – we are trained action learning facilitators.

They are not just a talking shop or tea and sympathy but action oriented, experience packed events to take you towards your goals.

What’s even more exciting is the venue is Daskalides Belgian chocolatier in Covent Garden.

I am sure the smell of chocolate will help our creative juices flow.

Daskalides chocolatier in Covent Garden.

Lean in with Chocolate – Creative Solution Groups

Daskalides chocolatier in Covent Garden.

Venue for Creative Solution Groups askalides chocolatier in Covent Garden.

The first event will take place on Saturday 4th May.

You can take advantage of the early bird price until 1st April

You can book here, or call me on 0844 776 4744 for more information

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

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