More Wives Now Outearn Their Husbands. They Also Stay Together Longer. | Kanebridge News
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More Wives Now Outearn Their Husbands. They Also Stay Together Longer.

The share of marriages with women breadwinners tripled over the last 50 years

By JULIA CARPENTER
Fri, May 12, 2023 8:29amGrey Clock 3 min

Marriages in which wives outearn their husbands are not only more common, but less likely to end in divorce than in the past.

Couples married in the late 1960s and 1970s were 70% more likely to divorce when wives earned the same or slightly more than their husbands compared with couples where the husband earned more, according to research from Christine Schwartz and Pilar Gonalons-Pons, sociologists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Pennsylvania, respectively. For couples married in the 1990s, however, the divorce rate for those with female breadwinners had fallen to 4% higher than male breadwinners.

The reasons these marriages are succeeding seem to be cultural as well as economic, Prof. Schwartz said. Growth in women’s educational and career trajectories has removed some of the stigma of lower incomes for husbands. And the higher cost of building a life together has made it a necessity for more couples to maximise their two incomes.

Sarah O’Brien, a 35-year-old archivist in Palm Desert, Calif., overtook her husband in earnings five years ago. The couple first met climbing the ranks of the public library world together, but she worried he would be uneasy about what her higher income would mean for his role in the household.

When they sat down to have the conversation, Ms. O’Brien said her husband, David Murguia, a 36-year-old circulation manager, told her that he was proud of her.

“I don’t have the ego of ‘I need to earn more money,’” Mr. Murguia said. “More money for her is more money for us, and more money for me is more money for us.”

Ms. O’Brien and Mr. Murguia are one of many more egalitarian marriages. The share of women outearning their husbands has tripled over the last 50 years, from 5% to 16% of all opposite-sex marriages, according to data from Pew Research Center.

Men used to worry that having a more financially successful wife could be detrimental to their own careers, said Johanna Rickne, professor of economics at the Swedish Institute for Social Research at Stockholm University. Women in the upper echelons of their professions were more likely to be divorced than women in less prestigious positions and were far less likely to be married at all.

“It’s changing, and now there is progress in the sensitivity to women’s economic empowerment within relationships,” Prof. Rickne said.

When Sally Mellinger, a 38-year-old director of content strategy in South Bend, Ind., first moved in with her fiancé, she said they both talked about their experiences as breadwinners: Ms. Mellinger as the wife outearning the husband in her first marriage and her fiancé, Luis Beltran, as the sole breadwinner in his own previous relationship.

Nearly three years later, Ms. Mellinger brings in nearly triple in salary what Mr. Beltran makes as the owner of his own barber shop. But she said talking about what their combined incomes can do for their shared future isn’t a loaded conversation but instead a hopeful one.

“When I was previously married, I was the major breadwinner and everything was on me,” Mr. Beltran said. “I see her as my equal, and I feel like at this point, because she is a boss, I admire that and I see a future.”

Despite the shifting viewpoints on female breadwinners, there remains a gender pay gap. As of 2022, women earned an average 82% of what men earned, according to a Pew Research Center analysis.

Over the same period, the overall divorce rate has declined, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and younger couples are entering first marriages at later ages.

Relying on a single breadwinner to bring home all the bacon is no longer a sustainable model for many couples, especially those raising children, said Jennifer Glass, professor of liberal arts and executive director for the Council on Contemporary Families at the University of Texas at Austin. The median cost of keeping an infant in daycare ranges from $8,000 a year in more rural areas to nearly $17,000 in major cities.

“The traditional family structure leaves you poor today,” Prof. Glass said.

Farnoosh Torabi, who hosts a personal finance podcast, said she’s spoken with couples who say they need two incomes to protect their household against a possible recession, the next round of layoffs or any other unforeseen challenges.

In her own marriage, Ms. Torabi said she had been primed to defend her newfound breadwinning status when she overtook her husband in earnings before they were married. But instead, the two celebrated her success—and the financial freedom it afforded them both. The conventional wisdom was no longer true, she said.

“I was told that would be a turnoff: Don’t tell guys you have ambitions because they’re not going to feel like they can take care of you,” she said.



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AACCI’s Strategic Vision for Enhancing Australia-Arab Trade Relations
AACCI’s Strategic Vision for Enhancing Australia-Arab Trade Relations

The Australian Arab Chamber of Commerce & Industry (AACCI) is fostering robust trade relations between Australia and Arab countries.

Mon, May 20, 2024 5 min

In an era where global trade and international relationships are more crucial than ever, the Australia Arab Chamber of Commerce & Industry (AACCI) serves as a bridge, for cooperation and growth between Australia and the Arab nations. Led by its Chairman, Mr. Mohamed Hage, the AACCI has taken on projects aimed at strengthening relationships and fostering development across borders.

This exclusive interview explores the initiatives implemented by the AACCI to expand its presence and influence in the region including the significant establishment of a new operational hub in Dubai. We also delve into how the Chamber embraces education through training and research, its participation in major international exhibitions, and its active support for both large corporations and small businesses.

Looking towards tomorrow, Mr. Mohamed shares his vision for broadening AACCI’s reach emphasizing the importance of the on-ground operations and cultural understanding in building business connections.

-Could you elaborate on the Australia Arab Chamber of Commerce & Industry, including its objectives and main areas of focus?

The Australia Arab Chamber of Commerce & Industry (AACCI) plays a fundamental role, in promoting business partnerships and trade between Australia and the 22 Arab countries. As a member of the Union of Arab Chambers affiliated with the Arab League, AACCI focuses on strengthening trade and investment ties, across these countries.

To nurture these connections effectively AACCI has outlined four objectives: facilitating trade and investment activities, certifying documents, educating stakeholders, and offering marketing assistance.

Our initiatives are designed not only to empower trade and investment endeavors but to also ensure engagement with specific sectors that drive these activities. With an understanding of the characteristics, strengths and preferences of each country, AACCI prides itself on its specialized knowledge customized to suit the distinct business environments of these nations.

– As the AACCI approaches its 50th anniversary, what have been some of the key milestones and achievements?

I believe one of AACCI’s accomplishments is the opportunities it has opened up for numerous Australian companies to access markets, in the region. Moreover, the strong bilateral trade relationship that has developed between Australia and the 22 Arab nations over the five decades has led to trade transactions amounting to billions of dollars.

This extensive trade covers industries such as food and beverages, luxury hotels and many more services. Each successive generation, within AACCI has built upon the foundation laid by its predecessors enriching their knowledge base and expanding their range of services.

– How does the AACCI leverage its diverse leadership team to enhance trade and investment opportunities between Australia and the Arab region?

Since taking on the role of chairman, my main focus has been on expanding our presence in the region. This led to the idea of opening an office in Dubai, which symbolizes our dedication to deepening our engagement in that area. We have successfully secured the license to open our first office in Dubai after 50 years, which will serve as a gateway to the GCC and North Africa.

I strongly believe that building two-way trade and investment ties requires more than a degree of business connectivity; it demands having local representatives present in each region. With trends emphasizing strategies the value of face-to-face engagements cannot be overstated.

Setting up offices in the region is essential for the Chamber to truly serve as a link and support system for business activities. Ultimately this expansion will bring benefits to our members and partners by providing them with access, to dynamic markets and diverse prospects.

– Can you discuss the significance of AACCI’s role in cultural and business exchanges between the two regions?

The importance of understanding cultures in our operations cannot be overstated. To address this, we have included a training platform within the Chamber to strengthen our cultural awareness initiatives. This new program offers our members access to modules on our website focusing on global business practices.

Furthermore, we have set up a Center of Excellence specifically dedicated to researching areas like food security and cultural awareness. These research endeavors are essential for promoting knowledge between the two regions.

By combining the resources of the Center of Excellence, our training resources, and the forthcoming local office in Dubai, we’re providing cultural awareness not only in the region but also in Australia. This approach ensures that our members are well equipped and knowledgeable boosting their effectiveness and involvement, in markets.

– What is the objective of your on-ground presence at conferences and events?

Participating in conferences and on ground events is very important for increasing awareness in industries like construction where knowledge of opportunities in the Arab world may not be widespread. When we see projects such as NEOM or notice the construction boom happening in the region it becomes important for organizations like the Chamber of Commerce to highlight these prospects. By taking part in large scale expos such as the Sydney Build Expo we position ourselves at the forefront of these advancements.

Our presence at these events enables interaction giving entrepreneurs a chance to visit our booth engage in discussions and learn more about the region in an approachable and personalized manner. This plays a role in simplifying the process and making opportunities concrete.

– With such a diverse membership base, how does AACCI tailor its services to meet the needs of both large corporations and small startups?

When it comes to discussing business it’s important to grasp how influence and vision come into play. Businesses looking to expand are often motivated by a desire to achieve something whether they are big companies or small enterprises. Small businesses typically aim to raise their brands profile while larger corporations seek recognition and market dominance.

Standing out in this area can be tough mainly because the key driving force is the passion to showcase the brand and products on a platform. This determination serves as a motivator for entrepreneurs.

At the Chamber we make a point of recognizing the needs of both big and small players by understanding each members individual situation. We ensure that every member is well informed about the opportunities and risks that come with expanding. For small businesses, this means being aware of the financial demands, while large businesses are advised on the necessity of both financial and emotional resilience.

– How does AACCI plan to expand or evolve its services in the coming years to further support its members?

The importance of having resources on the ground cannot be emphasized enough. Having local staff is key to establishing connections with the communities we serve. Without a presence in the area staying updated on events and activities becomes quite challenging.

This is why, as I’ve mentioned before, we have established an office in Dubai, staffed with personnel dedicated to supporting our members. This local office will help us effectively bridge the gap between Australia and the Arab world. And our members will benefit from insights and assistance from someone who truly knows the landscape.

In Australia we have equipped offices throughout the country staffed by individuals who play a significant role in our operations. This strong domestic network complements our efforts ensuring that we provide support to our members both locally and globally. This strategic approach is crucial, for nurturing business relationships and fostering continental understanding.

 

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