According to the Pew Research Center, as of 2012, the number of American women entering college immediately following high school was 71%, compared to 61% of men. And per Fortune Magazine, the number of female owned businesses grew 74% since 1997, with black women overwhelmingly leading the way with a whopping 322% growth! That’s astounding.
The by-product of this is that women are the growing breadwinners in a culture where we were raised to think that it’s a man’s job to provide for the household. So how do we balance the two?
This is a tough one, because it involves more than just numbers - it’s also about pride, how different genders approach life and money, and most importantly (for both) putting ego to the side and operating with intention. Here are a few tips:
1) What are your shared goals? For the moment, don’t worry about how each of you contribute to these goals; just determine the life you want to live (and what isn’t so important. Give and take is critical). City or suburbs? Kids? Business owners? These and other questions will lead you to the ultimate in empowerment: a plan.
2) Check your ego. This bears repeating, as it is the fundamental element to succeeding in these modern roles. Studies show that men crave respect in relationships and women crave love and security; however, as a woman’s income grows so too does the need to be respected and appreciated.
3) Strengths and challenges. Now that you’ve determined what’s most important, take an honest assessment of the best ways both of you can take part in reaching these goals. Is your career choice more lucrative than your partner’s? Does your partner have flexibility at work that you don’t? How can those elements contribute to your shared goal?
4) Check your ego. Need to throw this in again. Remember that your income does not dictate your worth. In fact, there is no relationship without both of you showing up and contributing to its success. Work together as a team, maximize on each other’s strengths, and respect the inherent value that your partner brings to the table.
And so it is.