For women who Rock their Role in work and life

Archive for the tag “Female breadwinner”

On the Move


Thank you so much to you for taking the time to read this blog over the past year.

The highlight so far was the day I received 4606 visits!

You may know that there are 2 sides to my business:

1. Reflexion Associates – Leadership coaching and coach training in organisations

2. Rocking Your Role – my book, speaking engagements, training and support for women executives, entrepreneurs and breadwinners

I have decided to consolidate my blog into my sites and would really appreciate it if you would subscribe to one or both of my blogs in their new home.

I won’t be posting here any longer.

1. Reflexion Associates blog – , register for updates via the newsletter sign up box at the top of the page

2. Rocking Your Role blog – , add your email in the subscribe box

See you at the house warming

Warm wishes


Jenny Garrett

+44 (0) 844 776 4744


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

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

Why you must invest in womankind

Women having coffee togetherI talk to women all the time, I love to share the good stuff, but what I have found through being a main earner and talking to others who are, is that often the most important stuff is left unsaid.

When was the last time you shared your story, not to burden someone, but to help them?

The act of sharing, talking and being with other women in a similar position is an opportunity for you to become clearer about your own identity as a main earner. Conversations will make a radical difference to how you do things and how you experience the world. For a start it can help you realise you’re not alone!

The research I did for my book, Rocking You Role: the how to guide to success for female breadwinners, meant I was lucky enough to hear a variety of stories from women main earners. Each had her own unique path but often faced similar highs and lows. These conversations helped me to create a walkthrough for others that might be struggling with similar issues or a way to celebrate and articulate achievements.

You might think, I’m not a group person or I don’t need more friends, but moving from me to we gives you more resources to handle your situation. It’s important that you share with other women like you and invest in womankind like the women in my book have. Here are some ways you might do it:

Utilise an informal network – you have amassed an informal network of colleagues and friends so use them to start you off. Perhaps you could write down five names of women you know that are in a similar situation and five you suspect might be and set a target to have conversations with them. You might even want to set up your own network. For a guide on how to get started email me

Join an existing group – have a think about an existing group you can join. It could be a speech giving class or even a book club. It doesn’t have to be focused on female breadwinners; any group that allows you to get into contact with other professional women is a chance to meet another main earner.

Attend focussed events– there are lots of events you could go to throughout the year that are especially focused on encouraging professional women to network. Here you can quickly hear and share stories and grow your circle of contacts.

Get online – online groups are easy to set up or join. The advantage is you can access them anytime and you benefit from anonymity. Plus you get a wider geographical reach. You could also try sharing your own reflections through a blog or by writing an article. Feel free to join the Rocking Your Role LinkedIn group to meet like-minded women.

Share with me– if all else fails you can always use me. I am always happy to hear other women’s experiences and finding ways to share them. Get in touch via Twitter @JennyGarrett or email me with your story.

Don’t be wary of other women main earners. Seek them out to find out more about yourself- it is surprising what we learn from each other and what we can teach. So go on, start the conversation today and don’t forget to 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 – the how to guide to success for female breadwinners.

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.

A review of Rocking Your Role, all the way from Chicago, enjoy

Rocking Your Role, the 'how to' guide to success for female breadwinners

Rocking Your Role, the ‘how to’ guide to success for female breadwinners

I have been making some wonderful connections via LinkedIn

One of them has provided her feedback on the first chapter of my book ‘Rocking Your Role, all the way from Chicago.

She concludes ‘Thus, it is evermore important for women to invest and empower themselves in order to combat the backlash. more comfortable you are in your role, the easier it will be to take on the world, no matter the context.

Read the rest here “Rocking Your Role” by Jenny Garrett. and feel free to comment

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

Women’s Ways

Womens Ways_Jenny Garrett_Rocking Your Role

 As a female breadwinner have you ever caught yourself suppressing your feminine traits in order to succeed? I know I have, in the past at work I’ve worn trouser suits, changed my language and not valued my unique perspective.  And at home in moments I’m not proud of ‘I’ve talked about being capable of being man and woman of the house’

One thing that influenced and helped me value my feminine perspective was reading a book called Women’s Ways of Knowing I read this book when I was studying for my Masters in Management Learning and Leadership at Lancaster University and it has stayed with me.  The book is based on the research from interviews with 135 women and describes five different perspectives from which women view reality and draw conclusions about truth, knowledge, and authority. How they often feel silenced by what could be described as masculine, logical and singular arguments.

What’s interesting for me is that because the masculine is often rewarded, women and men can start to devalue their feminine qualities.  The reality is that men are encouraged to be as masculine as possible and women are taught to downplay feminine characteristics to get ahead in the workplace. I however believe that your femininity has a unique value. Precious attributes like emotional intelligence, a draw towards collaboration and social responsibility can set you apart for the better.

It makes sense that a woman taking on the traditionally masculine role breadwinner means that you combine the masculine and the feminine. But if you find the masculine taking over in a way that is not good for you, you may need to rekindle your femininity.

In my book Rocking Your Role, I provide a framework in order to help you determine the qualities you work hard to present to the world and the ways to turn these off when you need to. Here are some tips to get started:

Value feminine traits– don’t push feminine traits aside because they are not valued in the workplace or because of your role as main earner. Bring one feminine quality back into your day for 30 days to remind yourself how useful it can be. Embrace being motherly, vulnerable, emotional, quiet, soft, loving, kind or whichever quality it is that you have been suppressing and notice the difference it makes in your life.

Nurture your femininity – once you have learned to value your feminine side don’t forget to look after it whatever it is that makes you feel like a woman. This could be new lingerie, a shopping date, meditation, or a meal with friends. If it feels too girly, do it!

Set your own terms – the role of main earner is traditionally male and you may work in a male dominated environment, but that doesn’t mean you have to act like one. You can be a main earner on your own terms; educate others to value what you bring while also valuing what they have to offer. Future generations will be grateful that you did.

Remember being feminine isn’t a curse; it’s a blessing. Get back in touch with it and maintain your femininity, if not to show the world that it is ok, but to remind yourself that it is.


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. See my Certificated Rocking Your Role: Women Breadwinners and Entrepreneurs programme, it might be just the development that you’re looking for.

Why you must take a holiday

Why you should take holidays

RockingYourRole_Jenny Garrett

I’ve just come back to work from 3 weeks off over the Christmas period, which was fantastic.  I had time with my family, watched films from start to finish, which I rarely do (Horrible Bosses had me laughing out loud, great film if you haven’t seen it) and took long baths and read for pleasure.

I confess, I checked my social media, responded to the odd email but I didn’t attempt to or want to get my teeth into anything workwise.  This took discipline because I run my own business, and it’s really hard to switch off.  Even if you are employed, you know what it’s like.  For me there are always exciting opportunities, collaborations coming my way, conversations that I want to contribute to and new ideas that I want to put into action.

The result?  My first week back has been really productive, I purposefully didn’t book any external meetings, so have been burrowed away in my office.  I called it creative and planning time in my diary.

You know those things that you keep meaning to do but don’t and often end up doing over your holidays, well this week I’ve done those.

Things like writing new assignments for the ILM Coaching and Mentoring Course that I deliver, following up with clients to see their progress, deciding what I will delegate, archiving, actually booking in meetings with those connections that I know I would benefit from chatting over coffee with and putting together a clear strategy for 2013.

What’s even better, is that I have done them with a clear head and relaxed body, I know I have been more productive and the quality of my output has been better than it would have done otherwise.  You see when I get too busy, too tired, I lose my groundedness, my centre, my connection to what’s important.  This is why I take regular time out to make sure that every connection is a good one, that my intentions are connected to what’s important to me: supporting women juggling work and home, particularly those who are the main earner. Ultimately, I want to be the best: wife, mother, daughter, granddaughter, employer, coach, colleague, speaker, author, friend, I can be without losing myself in the process.

So what am I going to do to keep working from this good place:

  1. Meditate at least 3 times a week in order to keep my mind clear and my focus sharp – the Chopra center does a 21 day mediation – only 5 minutes per day which is really effective
  2. Book in my holidays now – if I wait for a gap in the diary it wont come.  I am going to book three holiday slots in my diary when I will not be working.  These don’t have to be exotic holidays, you can be at home if you’re disciplined enough.
  3. Keep delegating – I know that family, friends, colleagues all want to help if I give them the space and guidance to do so.

So what about you? Reach for that diary right now and book those dates out, and feel the weight lift off your shoulders and your productivity improve. Even if you can’t control the amount of holiday you take, make sure that you take the maximum entitled to 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 and sign up for my newsletter

Miss interdependent 

Independent woman - female breadwinner - rocking your role

Ok, I am the first to admit that I pride myself on being pretty independent, I can handle a drill well enough to put up a shelf, change a fuse and I can cook too and I want my daughter to be the same.

Like me, from a young age perhaps you we were encouraged to stand on your own two feet so you didn’t have to depend on anyone else. Becoming a female breadwinner might be a symbol of this accomplishment for you.

But in reality independence is an illusion as it is a state of being that only exists within interdependence. In my work as a leadership coach I use the Hoberman Sphere as a visual aid to help leaders understand why. The model consists of a large interlinked sphere made up of tiny parts that can collapse to a fraction of its original size once pressure is applied to any one of the connecting pieces of the system.

Your position as main earner might mean you sometimes believe the world revolves around you. But you very quickly close your world down when you fail to think of yourself as part of a system of interconnected dependencies like the Hoberman Sphere. As a breadwinner there is no doubt that you are an integral part of your family system and essential to the whole but a complex network of interdependencies operate in the background to help you carry out your role, such as a stay at home dad, carers, good friends. Without them your system, like any living thing that is not nurturerd will die.

It’s important not to let your independence as a main earner trick you into thinking you don’t need anyone or that your actions don’t create a reaction. In my book Rocking your Role: the ‘how to’ guide to success for female breadwinners I provide tips to avoid slipping into this trap. Here are a few to get you started.

Map your interdependencies

Think about the individuals that form your system and how these relationships are doing at the moment. Which areas are strong and which are in need of development? What would happen if one of these links were to break under pressure? Don’t forget you have multiple systems made up of family, work, community, and friends. You might need to distance them or bring them closer together in order to make them function better.

Nourish your systems

If any part of your system is starved it will collapse and diminish. Nourish the elements of your various systems with whatever they need to thrive. This could be time together, further training or development, caring words, quality attention, intimacy or appreciation. But be sure to consider exactly what those in your system need from their point of view and not yours!

Don’t act alone

Discuss and explore decisions with others instead of going full steam ahead. This approach will ensure those that are impacted can put things in place to cope or are just made more aware – helping to avoid any heated arguments or hurt feelings later on. If you need to study to develop your career for example, think about what this means for your family unit. The route offers career options, increased earning potential and a way to be a role model for children but it can also take away quality time and money which if not accounted for in the right way might derail your studies anyway.

Keep flexible

With so much going on you might think a rigid structure that is set in stone is the answer to keep all the plates spinning. But being flexible is the key to making your complex network of systems operate seamlessly. This attitude will enable you to cope with new challenges rather than crumble. So if you need to work on a project for a few weeks, adjust your system appropriately. This might involve explaining to your kids you can’t pick them up from school but catching up on that special time elsewhere in the week.

Independence is great but is often an overplayed strength. Interdependence is that one step better as you and your whole system can flourish. Nothing is stopping you from being an individual within your system and you can still be mistress of your own destiny but by acknowledging your interdependencies you can make your corner of the world thrive.

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

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.

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