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Leadership & Communication

One in four households ‘have women as main breadwinner’

31 Oct 2013, by Informa Insights

Leadership for Women training courseThe number of women who are the main breadwinners in the household has risen over the last decade, new figures have revealed.

Statistics from the National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling (NATSEM) at the University of Canberra and AMP found one-quarter of women now earn the most money in their family.

This represents 140,000 more households than ten years ago, the organisations stated. The percentage of families in which both parents work has also climbed, from 40 to 58 per cent.

Better leadership development for women in the workplace may have contributed to the figures, with the AMP-NATSEM report highlighting that females fought through the global financial crisis particularly well.

In fact, the number of women who earned more than their male counterparts jumped from 22 per cent to 24 per cent across all income levels during the troubled economic period.

However, there may be more work to be done at high-income levels in the modern workplace, with just 17 per cent of households in this demographic having women as the main breadwinners.

This jumped to 25 per cent for middle-income dual-earner families and was at its highest in low-income households, where 27 per cent of women earn the biggest salaries.

State by state, Tasmania was found to have the smallest gender gap, with 35 per cent of women having the highest household salary, although this plummeted in resource-rich areas such as Western Australia, which had just 18 per cent.

AMP chief customer officer Paul Sainsbury said the modern family is nearly unrecognisable from the traditional households of previous decades.

“The cost of raising children, financial stress from divorce or coping in challenging economic times can have a significant impact on family stability, so it’s important that Australian families have their finances in order before challenges crop up,” he stated.

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