This past week, I came across an interesting article while scrolling through LinkedIn that discussed what happens at home when women advance at work. It had some really striking data on the shift that happens in our private lives as women climb the corporate ladder, and more and more couples are finding themselves in a “double-primary” career model, where both partners’ careers are considered equally important.
Unfortunately, the author of the article shed light on fact that even though women are now more educated and advancing higher in the workplace, not much at home is changing to support that upward movement. For example, while not surprising to us women, data backs up the fact that while female ambition at work has grown, ambition among men to take on domestic responsibilities has remained stagnant, making it challenging for women to invest as much in their careers. Relationships are often strained or broken over this imbalance; married women continue to do a majority of household chores, and when a woman makes more than her male partner, those relationships are more likely to end in divorce.
The article ends on a high note, however, revealing that a growing number of couples are figuring out how to balance two demanding careers with a productive life at home. How? Couples need to have explicit, ongoing conversations about their priorities and ambitions, and put as much time and rigor into running their home as they do their career. The article says, “when you don’t have conversations about your home like it’s your most important organization, that is when we fall back to patriarchal patterns. You would never walk into your boss’s office and say, ‘What am I supposed to do today?’ Men are asking women those questions in their homes.”
My takeaway? Hand your partner the vacuum, dirty laundry, and the kid’s empty lunch boxes more often! It’s time to establish equality at home and at the office.