More women are out-earning husbands

Nearly half of Americans hide a financial secret


With women now comprising more than half of the U.S. workforce, it’s perhaps no surprise that another seismic shift is happening in American homes: a growing share of women are now their families’ breadwinners.

About half of women say they out-earn or make the same amount as their husbands or partners, according to a new survey from TD Ameritrade. That marks a rapid change within a few generations, given that only 3.8% of women earned more than their husbands in 1960, according to the Pew Research Center.

To be sure, that means about half of American women say they earn less than their partners. With International Women’s Day observed on March 8, the United Nations says no country has yet achieved gender parity. And the gender pay gap in the U.S. is still very real, with the country coming in at 53rd out of 153 countries in equality.

Yet in a growing number of U.S. households, women are now earning more than their husbands and partners. There are plenty of emotions about this shift — but mostly among women, the TD Ameritrade study found.

Roughly half of women say they out-earn their spouse, according to a new survey. Women say they're also more likely to feel shame about earning more.

When men and women were asked how they felt about earning more than their partners, most men shrugged it off by saying they were “neutral” about it. Women breadwinners, though, were far more likely than men to describe themselves as secure, proud, independent and in control — although they were also more likely to say they felt guilty and embarrassed.

The sense of pride is one that rings true with Beth Shocki, 38, who works in advertising and lives with her husband and two daughters in Charlotte, North Carolina. Shocki says she earns about twice the income of her husband, a high school guidance counselor.


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By Javier Manning

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